David J. Phillip Associated Press Pacific players react on the bench during the second half of the Tigers' loss to Miami on Friday in Austin, Texas.

Ouch! Pacific takes it on the chin vs. Miami

Published: Saturday, Mar. 23, 2013 - 12:09 am | Page 6C
Last Modified: Sunday, Mar. 24, 2013 - 11:42 am

AUSTIN, Texas – Miami coach Jim Larranaga has so much confidence in Shane Larkin that he pretty much let his only non-senior starter run the show in the NCAA Tournament.

With the sophomore point guard calling most of the offensive plays and making up for a tough shooting game by matching his career high with nine assists, the Hurricanes returned to the tourney with a 78-49 victory over Pacific in the East Regional on Friday.

"Since the very first day I saw Shane Larkin play, I thought he was great. And he's only gotten better at making decisions, at developing his skills and developing his role as a leader," said Larranaga, the second-year Miami coach.

"Today, I may have called one or two offensive plays. I said to him, 'Run your team.' "

Durand Scott had 21 points with five three-pointers for the Hurricanes, four of those long-range shots on assists by Larkin, who was only 2-of-8 shooting but scored 10 points.

Miami took control with a 14-0 run midway through the first half, a spurt that Larkin got started with two free throws, an alley-oop pass and a three-point play.

"My teammates did a great job of being in the right position, and that's the chemistry that we have," said Larkin, the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year.

Pacific, which played its last game for retiring longtime coach Bob Thomason, was no match for the ACC's regular-season and tournament champions.

"Great team, great pieces. They played tremendous," said Thomason, who was 437-321 in 25 seasons coaching his alma mater.

Thomason had said last year that this season would be his last. The Tigers gave him 20-point win over Big West Conference regular-season champion Long Beach State in his final home game, then won the conference tournament for his fifth NCAA appearance.

Larranaga took mid-major George Mason to the Final Four in 2006. That makes him the only ACC coach not at Duke or North Carolina to take a program that far – and he might be able to do it again with his own ACC team.

Travis Fulton had 18 points on six threes for the Tigers, while Khalil Kelley had 11 points and nine rebounds.

Temple 76, N.C. State 72 in Dayton, Ohio – No one-and-done for Temple this time. Its best player pulled it off with six clinching free throws that were oh-so-painful but still perfect.

Khalif Wyatt scored 31 points, finishing the game with an injured thumb that had him grimacing before his decisive free throws, and Temple broke with its trend of opening-game losses in the tournament.

Indiana 83, James Madison 62 in Dayton – Yogi Ferrell scored Indiana's first nine points and had 14 in the first six minutes as the top-seeded Hoosiers powered their way to an easy victory.

Indiana started fast, building a 21-point halftime lead. It pushed the lead to 33 in the second half before letting up and had little trouble with the Dukes, who won their first tournament game in 30 years on Wednesday.

Illinois 57, Colorado 49 in Austin – Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson made consecutive three-pointers to give Illinois back the lead with 6 minutes left in a game of wild momentum swings.

The Illini led by 16 at halftime, only to watch the Buffaloes rip off a 21-2 run in the second half to grab the lead.

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