Former Xavier Coach and CBS color commentator Pete Gillen thinks that the Miami Hurricanes are the second best team in the ACC. With performances like tonight, it's hard to argue with him.
A quick start, sparked by a Kenny Kadji tip dunk, and a deep three by Reggie Johnson (yes he can make those), got Miami off to a 14-2 lead . UM was very sharp defensively and Durand Scott and Shane Larkin repeatedly scored with slashes and jumpers. When the guard play wasn't dominating, Johnson gave UCF star Keith Clanton fits down low.
A spectacular lay in off a lob on the inbound pass from Scott to Rion Brown closed out a dominant first half with the an exclamation point and the 'Canes up 37-21. The score did not even do justice to how dominant UM was in the first half.
In the second half UCF briefly fought back.
Daiquan Walker sparked an 8-0 run for the Knights to cut the lead to 51-40 with just over ten minutes to go. A three by Kadji, however, ended the run. Miami never really did blow the game open until the end. The teams traded buckets for most of the second half, as well as scrums for loose balls, but the 'Canes were never really in danger. Durand Scott putting the finishing touches on the game with a an incredible fall back jumper that he encored with a nifty and-one to build the lead back to 64-47. From their it was easy sailing.
Player of the Game: Reggie Johnson (16 points, 13 rebounds) takes it. Shane Larkin (11 points, 6 assists, 2 steals) and Durand Scott (17 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists) have solid cases as well.
The Good: Team defense is becoming a trademark. Backing up holding Charlotte to 46, by limiting UCF to 50, is an impressive 2 game feat. You get the feeling this team can hang with anyone off their defense alone.
The Bad: Not much to complain about. The effort was terrific from the opening buzzer. They looked sloppy for brief stretches, but 15-11 assist to turnover ratio is not too bad. Trey McKinney Jones was just 2-7 from the floor but he was playing through the flu, and his floor game was solid.
Next Game: Miami heads out to Honolulu for the Diamond Head Classic Tournament 12/22-25. UM takes on tournament host Hawaii in the first round 12:30 AM EST to start.
|T. McKinney Jones||31||2-7||2-4||0-0||0||4||1||1||0||0||2||6|
|Percentages||.483||.400||.615||Team Rebounds: 2|
|Percentages||.354||.227||.647||Team Rebounds: 4|
- Technical Fouls:
- UCF Arena, Orlando, FL
- Rick Crawford, Rick Hartzell, Zelton Steed