In the first of two National Invitation Tournament semifinals, Miami came back from a double-digit deficit for the second straight game to ensure Jim Larranaga's Madison Square Garden head coaching debut would be a winning one, defeating Temple by the final of 60-57. A look at the pace and efficiency numbers:
Possessions: Temple 66, Miami 64
Offensive Efficiency: Miami 94, Temple 86
The Four Factors:
eFG%: Miami 44, Temple 32
FT Rate: Temple 35, Miami 19
OREB%: Temple 32, Miami 24
TO Rate: Miami 17, Temple 9
What Miami did well: Make plays when it mattered, especially down the stretch. A pair of three-pointers by Sheldon McClellan late in the second half were described by Temple coach Fran Dunphy as "backbreakers," and were even more significant given the fact that the Owls missed each of their 15 attempts from beyond the arc after the intermission. The Hurricanes relied on a balanced scoring effort where all but one of their players cracked the scoreboard, overcoming a fundamentally sound Temple squad.
What Temple did well: Take care of the ball. The Owls committed just six turnovers, registering an exceptional 9 percent turnover rate. They also got to the foul line twice as much as Miami, doubling up the Hurricanes in free throw attempts by a final count of 22-11, but all in all, their misfortune from long range was the culprit behind coughing up an 11-point lead.
Leading Scorers and OE:
Miami: Sheldon McClellan, 16 points, 11 rebounds (OE .462)
Temple: Obi Enechionyia, 17 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocks (OE .556)
Miami improves to 25-12 as they await either Stanford or Old Dominion for the NIT championship on Thursday, while Temple, the first team left out of the NCAA Tournament, concludes its season at 26-11.
"Somehow, some way, these guys found a way to stay together. I thought our perimeter defense was very solid." - Miami head coach Jim Larranaga
"He's been an inspirational leader. He and Sheldon (McClellan) have done a great job taking on bigger roles since Angel (Rodriguez) went out." - Larranaga on sophomore guard Davon Reed
"The shots just didn't go in. That's all there is to it." - Temple senior guard Will Cummings
"I thought we got ourselves to the rim a number of times. We just didn't finish down there. They did a better job than we did, and they deserve the credit." - Temple head coach Fran Dunphy