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Sanders helps Boston College topple Miami

Jan 16, 2008 - 6:13 AM CHESTNUT HILL, Massachusetts (Ticker) -- Even a Top-25 ranking couldn't help Miami its futility at the hands of Boston College.

Freshman Rakim Sanders scored 20 points and Tyrese Rice added 14 for the Eagles, who notched the game's first eight points and coasted to a 76-66 Atlantic Coast Conference win over the No. 24 Hurricanes at Conte Forum on Tuesday night.

Boston College (12-4, 3-0 ACC) won its 13th straight contest over Miami and assumed first place in the ACC. With three wins, the Eagles have one more than top-ranked North Carolina and Duke, the only other unbeaten teams in the conference.

It was the second straight impressive conference win at home for Boston College, which blew out Wake Forest, 112-73, on Saturday.

"Whether they're ranked or not ranked is really not important," Eagles coach Al Skinner said. "Trying to have some success in the league is the most important thing. It doesn't matter that it's a ranked opponent, you've got to take care of your business at home and that's what we're trying to do."

"I think we came out ready to play the last two games," Sanders added. "I know in the beginning of the year we come out slow and then pick it up. We defended well which led to some easy shots is how we got out to an easy lead."

Tyrelle Blair was a dominant force inside for Boston College, scoring 11 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and blocking five shots.

Jack McClinton led the Hurricanes with 20 points despite shooting just 6-of-26 from the floor. James Dews added 15 points for Miami, which dropped its eighth straight road game in ACC play.

Playing their first league road game of the year, Miami (14-2, 1-1) came out ice cold, making just two of its first 20 shots in the first 10 minutes of the game.

"We obviously got off to a slow start," Miami coach Frank Haith said. "I thought their guys, for whatever reason, just really took it to us. Rakim Sanders was outstanding. Blair really affected our big guys. We had a tough time with it."

"I think the beginning of the game we came in with a nonchalant attitude and being nonchalant, we didn't execute as well," McClinton said. "We came in the second half with our backs against the wall and played hard but we should have played like that from the beginning of the game."

The Eagles, meanwhile, were taking advantage by converting 10 of their first 16 shots from the floor, racing out to leads of 8-0, 14-2 and 20-4.

"I really think it started on the first possession of the game," Rice said. "The last two games, the very first possession off the jump ball I've hit (Rakim) for layups. When you start off the game with a layup on your first possession, it's just going to get everybody excited."

John Oates stepped back and nailed a 3-pointer with 1:55 remaining in the first half to give Boston College its largest first-half lead at 34-17.

"It's on us," McClinton said. "There's nothing the coaches can do. We're prepared for all the games we come into. We've just got to step up to the challenge and stop coming out slow. Like Georgia Tech, we came out slow and were able to come back but you're not going to be able to do that every game in the ACC."

The Hurricanes could never find the range in the first half, shooting just 26.5 percent (9-for-34).

The Eagles continued their dominance opening the second half, scoring the first seven points to take a 43-21 lead on Blair's put-back dunk with 16:12 remaining.

The Hurricanes didn't score their first points after the break until Lance Hurdle converted a pair of free throws with 15:36 remaining and didn't register a field goal before Raymond Hicks' basket with 13:48 to go.

BC built its lead to 22 at 55-33 before Miami made one final push to get back into the game. McClinton's second consecutive 3-pointer cut the lead to 60-50 with 5:59 remaining.

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    (24) MIAMI FL 22

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    Miami(24) vs. Boston CollegeJan 15 9:49 PM