PROVIDENCE — No. 3 Miami held on to beat No. 11 Wichita State 65-57 Saturday, ending the brilliant careers of Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker a few buckets short of one last great comeback.
They had done everything they could do to make it a possibility, erasing a 21-point deficit with their signature full-court defense. But Miami’s size and athleticism — and a slow start that may have been caused by the Shockers playing their third game in five days — was too much.
Trailing 61-55 in the final minute, Wichita State’s Shaquille Morris had a good look from the paint but missed. Miami’s Sheldon McClellan gathered the rebound while falling out of bounds and threw the ball back over his head to Angel Rodriguez, who was fouled hit both free throws. The Shockers could never counter.
Rodriguez finished with a career-high 28 points, five assists and four steals.
BOX SCORE: Miami 65, Wichita State 57
VanVleet had 12 points, five assists and five steals. Baker was held to 11 points on 4-for-12 shooting.
Baker and VanVleet won nine NCAA Tournament games and took the Shockers to the Final…