After building an early lead against Virginia Tech on Jan. 31, the Hurricanes nearly let the game slip away, just as they had in their previous outing at home against Boston College.
This time, they managed to come up with a couple of key stops, hit a few free throws, and they hung on for the 82-75 victory over the Hokies.
"We were disappointed, but not discouraged in our game against Boston College," coach Frank Haith said. "We learned from it. I think that's what you hope for with a young team, that you have things happen to you and you learn from it."
Not that there weren't suspenseful moments.
Just as it had against BC, Miami held a 17-point lead at the first media timeout of the second half.
That's when Tech began whittling into the lead and forcing turnovers. The Hokies were within five points eight times over the final seven-and-a-half minutes but were unable to get any closer.
"We needed this," sophomore guard Malcolm Grant said. "Now we feel good and we just want to go into Wake with the same focus and same concentration and understand what we have to do."
Miami, which was playing only its third conference game at home, goes back on the road for its next two outings, starting with a trip to Wake Forest.
The Hurricanes, 2-5 in the league and 16-5 overall, are then at Florida State before playing five of their last seven ACC games at home.
--Miami shot a season high 63.2 percent from the field against Virginia Tech, opening by going 14 of 20 (70 percent) in the first half. "If we didn't turn the ball over, we had a nice rhythm going offensively," coach Frank Haith said. "We shared the ball very well -- 17 assists. We'll take that any night."
--F Dwayne Collins has been bothered by a sore back recently, but the main thing for him is learning how to deal with the double- and triple-teams he likely will be facing from here on out. Collins had only seven points and four rebounds and turned the ball over four times against Virginia Tech on Jan. 31. He played 28 minutes but wasn't on the floor from the final 6:28 of the game.
ON THE SPOT: Miami had 20 turnovers in the win over Tech, the most since making 24 in a win over South Carolina in November. The Hurricanes had 12 turnovers over the last 13:41 of the game under Tech's pressure. Guards Durand Scott, Malcolm Grant, and James Dews each had three.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I really believe this team is very capable to win basketball games on the road in this league." -- Coach Frank Haith, whose Hurricanes are winless on the road in league play, with their next two games (Wake Forest and Florida State) away from home.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
SEASON RECAP: Miami snapped a four-game losing streak with its victory over Virginia Tech, improving to 2-5 in the ACC and 16-5 overall. Coach Frank Haith notes that two years ago the Hurricanes started out 2-6 in league play but finished strong and made the NCAA Tournament.
Boston College 79, Miami 75
Maryland 81, Miami 59
Miami 82, Virginia Tech 75
at Wake Forest, Tuesday, Feb. 2
at Florida State, Saturday, Feb. 6
vs. Georgia Tech, Wednesday, Feb. 10
at Clemson, Saturday, Feb. 13
vs. Duke, Wednesday, Feb. 17
IN FOCUS: Miami hung on to beat Wake Forest in the first meeting in Coral Gables for their second consecutive win in the series. But the Deacons hold the overall edge 7-3, including a 5-3 advantage in games played since Miami joined the ACC for the 2004-05 season.
--G James Dews matched his season high with 21 points in the win over Virginia Tech, going 5 of 7 from the field and hitting two of his 3-point attempts. Over his last three games, he is 13 of 25 from the field overall and 5 of 10 on treys.
--C Reggie Johnson didn't start for the first time in four games but played 13 minutes and was on the floor at the end of the Virginia Tech game. His two free throws with 34 seconds left gave the Hurricanes a 77-70 cushion. He was 7 of 10 from the stripe for the game.
--Senior F Cyrus McGowan has been back in the starting lineup for the past two games. He scored only five points against the Hokies but had a career-high four assists.