GREENSBORO, N.C. — Guard Rion Brown scored 15 points, including two free throws with 8 seconds to play, as 10th-seeded Miami finally beat Virginia Tech 57-53 in the ACC Tournament’s first-round game on Wednesday afternoon at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Virginia Tech forward Jarell Eddie failed to convert off a rebound of guard Devin Wilson’s missed free throw on a sequence that would have tied the game before Miami forward Erik Swoope iced it with two foul shots with 2.5 seconds left.
Freshman guard Davon Reed scored 14 points in his first postseason game and Swoope added 14 for Miami (17-15), which lost twice to the Hokies (9-22) in the regular season.
Defending champion Miami must win four more games in order to repeat the title.
Next up is Thursday night’s second-round game against seventh-seeded North Carolina State, which split with the Hurricanes during the regular season.
Leading 53-52, Miami guard Manu Lecomte missed a runner in the lane with about 36 seconds left, but Swoope grabbed the rebound. The Hurricanes called time-out with 23 seconds left, then threw away the inbounds pass.
Virginia Tech forward Joey van Zegeren, with a chance to put his team ahead, missed two free throws with 9.5 seconds left.
Eddie scored 16 points for the 15th-seeded Hokies, who ended the season with seven consecutive losses.
Virginia Tech’s only ACC victories this season came against Miami (Dec. 8 and Feb. 15) under second-year coach James Johnson.
Johnson’s status might be in question as his teams have gone 22-41, including 6-32 against ACC competition.
Virginia Tech pulled even at 49-49 when Miami failed to score on seven straight possessions and then led briefly on Eddie’s 3-pointer for the team’s last field goal with 3:21 remaining.
Virginia Tech led 32-31 at halftime when Wilson made one of three free-throw attempts with less than a second remaining.
The Hokies shot 54.5 percent from the field and were without a turnover in the first half.
Eddie hit three 3-point baskets in the first eight minutes as the Hokies grabbed a 15-7 lead with only one 2-point bucket to that point.
Reed made four first-half 3-pointers for Miami, which scored seven consecutive points after trailing 19-10 and pulled even at 27-all on Swoope’s dunk at the 1:45 mark.
Swoope dunked again for the lead on the next possession.
Miami has won at least one ACC Tournament game for the eighth time in its 10 seasons in the league.
NOTES: Virginia Tech F Cadarian Raines, who missed the three previous games with an ankle injury, played sparingly Wednesday. … G Devin Wilson’s 80 assists in ACC regular-season games set a Virginia Tech record that was established by Malcolm Delaney with 78 four years ago. … Miami F Erik Swoope has scored in double figures in six consecutive games after reaching that level only once in the season’s first 24 games.
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