by Ray Floriani
LYNDHURST, NJ - Hoping to catch the Marist women's second round game at Duke but ESPN2 had us tuned in to Tennessee-Marquette at Knoxville. Marquette battled gamely but enough of the added Bruce pearl 'post-mortems'. Switched over to Miami and Missouri State in the NIT and decided to do some early second half charting. At intermission Missouri State had a 32-26 lead over Miami. What transpired the first four minutes, and then some, was on the borderline of amazing. The Miami possessions to open the second half:
1. 3 Pt. FG
2. FG + made FT
3. 3 Pt. FG
6. 3 Pt. FG
7. Two free throws (16:00 44-39 Miami, an offensive efficiency of 257)
8. 3 Pt. FG
10. FG + made FT (14:06 52-41 Miami)
12. Miss rebounded by defense (54-41 Miami)
First 11 possessions saw 28 Miami points, talk about a true Hurricane (category five?), for an offensive efficiency of 255. Amazing stat, it took a full 20 to score 26 points but 6 to ring up 28 after intermission. It wasn't a case of Missouri State letting up defensively. Miami had four deep threes. All of them courtesy of Adrian Thomas, who shot 0 for 5 the first half and was shut out in the scoring column. The senior forward extended his career another day scoring 16 points on the night.
The Hurricanes emerged 81-72 victors, carrying the banner of the ACC , a conference making some noise in 'March Madness'.
I am sure somewhere there was a team that scored on more than eleven straight possessions. Willing to believe it hasn't happened a great deal and probably not in post season tournament competition.
Miami advanced in the 63 possession game. Another point to drive home, the 'Canes did not simply put up big numbers in a run and gun all out transition tempo. The final efficiency saw Missouri State at 114, good enough to win many a game. But not when you give up the 129 enjoyed by the Hurricanes.
Finally, did catch the last few minutes of the Marist game. A heartbreaking loss for the Red Foxes. That is however, for another time.