, Florida (PressExposure) February 26, 2009 -- The Miami Hurricanes are keeping hope alive. On February 26th the Canes won their second straight conference game at John Paul Jones arena after having lost four of the last five.
Jack McClinton, coming in with a 20.1 shooting average only scored 11 points. Virginia ran a successful defensive campaign, holding McClinton to only one point in the first 33 minutes, and leading by up to 10 points in the first half. But the Hurricanes stood strong answering with a defense that left Virginia scoreless on their last six possessions of the game.
Brain Ashbury led the game with 13 points, the only other player to score for Miami, while Jeff Jones scored 16 points for Virginia.
Shadowing McClinton was Calvin Baker, who scored 11 points for the Cavaliers.
In a game that recorded 13 ties and 11 lead changes, neither team handled the ball well. Miami provided 13 turnovers. Virginia let go of the ball 16 times and both sides let a number of scoring opportunities pass, though Miami held an 11-13 record at the stripe.
''I thought Calvin [Baker] did a wonderful job all night in taking a personal challenge on the best scorer in the league,'' Virginia coach Dave Leitao said. ``Even so, I thought we could have withstood that. Offensively, we did a good job in the first 20-25 minutes taking care of the ball, but we had a whole lot of empty possessions.''
When it mattered, though, McClinton came through, scoring a crucial three pointer with 47 seconds left in the game, giving the Canes a 60-55 lead. The Hurricanes held off the Cavaliers until 19 seconds left in the game when McClinton sank two free throws for the winning points.
''I think it made a statement that we can win a game without Jack having a monster game,'' Hurricanes coach Frank Haith said. ``I think there are times when our guys sit and watch Jack play. We need to get away from that and be more involved.''
Virginia came in with two straight wins at home and after a successful defensive game throughout the first half, left the halftime score tied, 29-29. Jeff Jones tied the game for the eighth time with 3:55 left in the game but the Cavaliers were unable to score for the rest of the contest, as Miami went on a 7-0 run to end the game.
"It was a must-win in terms of us needing this," said Haith. "But we try not to focus on a magical number. If we do what we're supposed to do, we're going to be fine."