A look back at Miami’s 78-49 win over Pacific on Friday:
Why Miami won: The East Region’s 15th-seeded team hung with Miami over the game’s first six minutes, and Khalil Kelley’s three-point play trimmed Miami’s lead to 8-7 with 14:35 left in the first half. But by the time Kelley scored again — on a dunk with 7:19 left — Miami had built a 22-9 lead. … The star of Miami’s 14-0 run was sophomore point guard Shane Larkin, who scored five points and had two assists in that seven-minute stretch.
“At that moment in time, we weren’t playing very well,” Larkin said. “We just needed a spark so I tried to go out there and make something happen. My teammates did a great job of being in the right position and that’s just the chemistry we have.”
Why Pacific lost: The champions of the Big West Conference, Pacific came into the game making 45.2 percent of its field goal attempts and 69.4 percent of its free throw shots. But the Tigers shot just 33.3 percent from the field on Friday and 34.6 percent from 3-point land. Pacific also was an unimpressive 4 of 11 from the free throw line.
“Sometimes you meet those moments where you just don’t perform very well, and that was us tonight,” Pacific coach Bob Thomason said.
Star of the game: Miami’s Durand Scott scored a game-high 21 points, and the senior knocked down five of his eight 3-point attempts. Like Pacific senior Travis Fulton, who made five 3-pointers in the second half, Scott was particularly efficient after halftime. He was 4 of 6 from behind the arc in the second half and he sank three straight 3-pointers in an 83-second span. Durand went into the NCAA tournament with only 30 three-pointers on the season. But he has made five 3-pointers in two of Miami’s last three games.
“They gave me the green light, and from there, I’ve just tried to shoot to the best of my ability,” said Durand, who credited the work that his coaches had done with his footwork and confidence. “I had a great game today.”
Stat of the game: Miami got 28 points on 10-of-18 shooting from four players on its bench — Rion Brown, Erik Swoope, Reggie Johnson and Tonye Jekiri. Johnson, who also had a game-high 10 rebounds, and Brown each played 24 minutes while Jekiri, a freshman center, scored a career-high six points.