rain
Wednesday May 27th, 2015 3:46AM

Miami shuts down Georgia Tech

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA -- Freshman point guard Manu Lecomte seems to be maturing at just the right time for Miami.

"You need a guy like that to handle the ball, who won't make mistakes and runs the team," teammate Rion Brown said. "He's getting better and better each game."

Lecomte scored a career-high 16 points, Donnavan Kirk added 14 points and Miami used its tight zone defense to beat Georgia Tech 56-42 on Saturday.

The Hurricanes (10-7, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) showed why they rank ninth in the nation in average points allowed, causing Georgia Tech to miss 27 of its first 35 shots from the field.

Miami gave the Yellow Jackets hardly any room to dribble inside the perimeter. Those few times that Georgia Tech managed to get through, the Hurricanes often stripped the ball away or grabbed a defensive rebound.

Trae Golden, despite missing six of seven 3-point attempts, finished with 12 points for the Yellow Jackets (10-8, 1-4), who used an eight-man rotation following injuries or sickness suffered by Robert Carter Jr., Jason Morris and Solomon Poole.

"We have some guys who haven't shot the ball as well as obviously we would like," Jackets coach Brian Gregory said. "It's kind of a double-edged sword. They're hard to score on - they've proven that - and when you have open shots, you have to make them."

The Hurricanes never trailed after Lecomte's layup made it 7-5 early in the first, taking their first double-digit lead on a pair of free throws by Lemonte with 3 seconds left before intermission.

Brown had 12 points for Miami, which finished with just four assists as most of the Hurricanes' baskets came off the dribble.

Georgia Tech, which began the game with the nation's 11th-worst shooting percentage on 3-point attempts, finished 4 for 20 beyond the arc.

And Chris Bolden sank further into his season-long slump. The starting sophomore guard went 0 for 5 on 3s and is now shooting just 25 percent on 52 attempts.

"We've got to shoot the ball better," Gregory said. "We've got to move the ball better and just keep plugging away.

Miami took charge of the momentum with an 8-0 run to end the first half. By the early minutes of the second half, the Hurricanes had outscored Georgia Tech 16-4 in the paint.

Lecomte and Brown hit straightaway treys that helped push the lead to 37-19 during that stretch, but it seemed strange that Miami won despite three assists from Lecomte, one from Garrius Adams and none from anyone else.

"I was really surprised about that," Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. "It ended up coming down to that Manu's baskets came off the dribble, Donnavan Kirk's baskets came off the dribble, and those are the guys who did all the scoring - them and Rion Brown."

Georgia Tech shot 29.5 percent, marking just the fifth time since 1964-65 that the Jackets had such a poor performance from the field.

Though Miami has held opponents to 60 points or less in 10 straight games, Lecomte said that Larranaga is still far from satisfied with the team's zone defense. Larranaga, who installed the scheme before the season, used mostly man-to-man defenses during his first 29 years as a head coach.

But for a freshman like Lecomte, who last year was in high school as Larranaga led the Hurricanes to the Sweet 16 in his first season at Miami, there hasn't been much of an adjustment.

The message is the same.

"Every day at practice, he is always telling us that we've got to get better on defense," Lecomte said. "I think we played good tonight."
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 4 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 4 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 4 months ago )
Sports
Jackets, Mississippi St. clash in Orange Bowl
No. 10 Georgia Tech has the nation's second-ranked rushing offense. No. 8 Mississippi State has held seven of its 12 opponents under 125 yards on the ground.
5:04PM ( 4 months ago )
Ole Miss defense braces for TCU offense in Peach Bowl
Mississippi and TCU were part of the playoffs story in 2014. Each team was part of the chase. Each team fell short of the coveted semifinals.
5:01PM ( 4 months ago )
Kiffin shining again after season of redemption
Lane Kiffin was modest in his goals and complimentary about the team he'll be facing in the Sugar Bowl. He went on and on about how much he's learned from Nick Saban, while insisting it's no big deal when his boss yells at him. Very un-Kiffin-like, you might say.
11:02PM ( 4 months ago )
College Sports
Baseball: GHS-Greenbrier title game postponed til noon Wednesday
The deciding Game 3 of the Gainesville-Greenbrier Class AAAAA championship series has been postponed due to repeated inclement weather...
11:34PM ( 19 hours from now )
Cavs advance to NBA Finals with rout of Hawks
The championship LeBron James craves more than any other, the one he came back home to get, is four wins away. The Cavaliers are in the NBA Finals...
By The Associated Press
10:23AM ( 6 hours from now )
Baseball: GHS, Greenbrier set for one-game showdown for AAAAA title
Few expected a sweep. And as if on cue, Gainesville and Greenbrier split the first two games of their best-of-three Class AAAAA state championship series Monday at Greenbrier.
5:00PM ( 10 hours ago )
University of North Georgia softball team wins national championship
Junior pitcher Courtney Poole struck out four while giving up just two hits to lead the University of North Georgia softball team to a 5-0 win against Dixie State and the program's first national title.
By UNG Athletic Communications
2:51PM ( 12 hours ago )
Dooley drives to first Super Pro win at Atlanta Dragway
Paul Dooley led a group of seven racers to score their first class victories Saturday night at the Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga.
By Tim Glover
12:00PM ( 15 hours ago )