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Miami beats Pacific in NCAA

AUSTIN, Texas — Miami senior guard Durand Scott has waited four years to get an opportunity to play in an NCAA Tournament game, and when the time finally arrived Friday, he took full advantage of it.

Scott had a game-high 21 points and guard Shane Larkin tied a career high with nine assists to help lead Miami to a 78-49 victory over Pacific at the Erwin Center in the NCAA second round.

The No. 2 seed Hurricanes (28-6) play Sunday against No. 7 Illinois, which defeated Colorado 57-49.

"We knew Scott could shoot and drive, and we said (before the game) if he has a great game, it's not going to work out very well for us," Pacific coach Bob Thomason said. "We had to play pretty well, and we did. But Miami's just a lot better than us. I'm glad it's not a seven-game series to tell you the truth."

The Hurricanes had a balanced offensive attack with nine players scoring. Scott scored 18 second-half points and was 5-of-8 from 3-point range.

"Basically, it was just go out there and play hard," Scott said. "You know they're going to come out and they're going to put up a great fight, which they did, especially in the first couple of minutes. Coach tells us to stay poised and keep fighting, and make sure you take care of the defensive end. I think that's what we did, and that's why we were successful."

Miami led 40-19 at halftime, shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 45 percent from 3-point range. The Hurricanes held Pacific to 7-of-24 shooting in the first half.

"In the tournament we believe you have to play well to advance," Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. "We did that today."

Pacific (22-13), the Big West tournament champion, kept things close for nearly 10 minutes in the game before Miami broke loose. Leading 8-7, Larkin hit two free throws, assisted on dunk by Tonye Jekiri and scored again, adding a free throw as part of a 14-0 run. The Hurricanes, who won the ACC tournament and regular season, weren't threatened from there.

"At that moment … we kind of weren't playing very well, and we just needed a spark," said Larkin, who had 10 points. "So I tried to go out here and make something happen, and luckily my teammates made the right screens for me to get to the basket and they were in the right spots."

Antonya English can be reached at english@tampabay.com.

Miami beats Pacific in NCAA 03/22/13 [Last modified: Friday, March 22, 2013 7:54pm]
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