Reggie Johnson's sheer presence is reminiscent of an 18 wheeler. But even with out their big man, the Miami Hurricanes and their Lamborghini quick point guard Shane Larkin proved they still have plenty in the tank.
In the first half, Miami left some points on points on the board, missing 3 layups. That coupled with Ramon Galloway going all Jack McClinton with some ridiculously long and difficult bombs, and UM found themselves behind. Shane Larkin cut into lead with a nice and-one, but missed a finger roll at the buzzer (story of the half) and the 'Canes were down 36-30 at the half. Trey McKinney Jones led the way with 8 at the intermission. Galloway paced LaSalle with 12 (4-4 from deep).
Kenny Kadji got the Hurricanes going with a three point play on a stick back, early in the 2nd. A slicing drive to the bucket by Durand Scott shortly after gave UM a 40-38 lead. In the 2nd half Miami seemed to be really determined to impose their physical will on LaSalle. The team defense was especially solid, and Galloway suddenly couldn't find a shot. The game got a little helter skelter on both ends of the court for a while, and stayed close, with the teams piling up the turnovers. Kadji and Julian Gamble did a good job drawing fouls on LU big men Steve Zack and Jerrell Wright. Missed FTs however, cost Miami a chance to build the lead.
With the game tied at 45 Larkin completely took over! A pair of slashing drives and 2 long distance threes suddenly put UM up 10. A drive and dish to Erik Swoope for an emphatic slam extended the lead to 14. The best player on the court was evident, and from there the result was academic. On a night where Miami needed to snap a skid and establish an identity minus Reggie Johnson, Larkin was sensational. With ACC play on deck, Hurricanes Hoops fans can exhale, for one night at least.
Player of the Game:Easy. Larkin. His18 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists were key, but more then anything else he took the game over when it was close and gave UM the edge it needed. Scott chipped in with 18 of his own.
The Good: The defense in the 2nd half was terrific. Swoope gave Miami some good energy off the bench with additional minutes. Kadji (14 points 11 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 blocks) played an outstanding all around game. McKinney Jones (4-5 from downtown) regained his shooting stroke in a big way.
The Bad: Durand Scott appeared to turn his ankle again, but stayed in the game.
The Ugly: Too many quick shots, and sloppy possessions, especially in the first half.
Next Game: Miami kicks off ACC play with a trip to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech this Saturday, 1/5 at 2:30 PM EST.
|La Salle Explorers|
|Ramon Galloway, G||4-11||4-5||0-0||1||7||4||1||0||6||3||12|
|Steve Zack, C||4-7||0-0||0-0||2||7||0||1||0||1||4||8|
|Jerrell Wright, F||2-6||0-0||2-3||2||4||1||0||0||1||5||6|
|Tyreek Duren, G||1-9||1-5||2-4||1||1||4||1||0||1||1||5|
|Sam Mills, G||0-7||0-4||2-2||1||3||1||0||0||0||3||2|
|Tyrone Garland, G||10-16||0-1||0-0||1||2||0||1||0||1||2||20|
|D.J. Peterson, G||2-5||2-5||0-0||0||2||0||1||1||0||1||6|
|Garvin Hunt, C||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Rohan Brown, G-F||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Miami (FL) Hurricanes|
|Durand Scott, G||5-10||0-2||8-9||0||4||1||0||0||5||1||18|
|Shane Larkin, G||6-15||3-6||3-4||0||5||3||1||0||1||0||18|
|Kenny Kadji, F-C||4-9||1-4||5-7||2||11||2||4||3||2||2||14|
|Trey McKinney Jones, G||5-9||4-5||0-0||1||4||0||1||1||0||1||14|
|Julian Gamble, F-C||2-3||0-0||2-4||2||9||0||0||1||0||2||6|
|Erik Swoope, F||1-1||0-0||2-4||2||3||1||0||0||1||2||4|
|Rion Brown, G||1-4||0-0||0-0||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||2|
|Tonye Jekiri, C||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0||0|