mostlycloudy
Sunday May 3rd, 2015 3:57PM

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
Coach Quinn believes 1st NFL draft with Falcons a success
General manager Thomas Dimitroff and new coach Dan Quinn say the Atlanta Falcons got exactly what they were looking for on the last day of the NFL draft.
3:40PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Golf: Red Elephants surge back to claim Invite crown over Marist
The Gainesville boys golf team staged a second-round comeback on Saturday to claim The Invite crown at Chattahoochee Golf Club in Gainesville.
11:53AM ( 4 hours ago )
David Ragan ready to move to Michael Waltrip Racing
David Ragan’s tenure in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota comes to an end with the GEICO 500 and he’ll be moving onto his third team in 11 races—“a little weird, for sure,” he acknowledged—when the Sprint Cup schedule resumes at Kansas Speedway on May 9.
By Mark McCarter-NASCAR Wire Service
8:00AM ( 7 hours ago )
Reds notch 8-4 win over Braves
Jay Bruce powered two long triples, Marlon Byrd broke out of his slump and Zack Cozart had three hits to lead the Reds to an 8-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.
10:42PM ( 17 hours ago )
American Pharoah gives trainer a long-awaited 4th Derby win
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Three times in seven years, Bob Baffert left the Kentucky Derby empty-handed. Two seconds and a sixth-place finish by the wagering favorite.After a while, those close calls star...
9:28PM ( 18 hours ago )