The Miami Hurricanes Hoops may have gotten off to slow start with a surprising season opening loss to St. Francis NY.
But ever since then they have just gotten better and better and better.
Propelled by excellent shooting and stingy defense, UM rolled over C of C 70-54 in their first road contest of the season.
Miami got a big boost prior to the start of the game with the presence of Tonye Jekiri. There was some concern he would miss tonight's game after spraining an ankle last Thursday Vs Texas Southern. And although Jekiri has yet to hit his stride this season, the Hurricanes are already short-handed minus Deandre Burnett, so TJ's presence was a welcomed sight.
In the first 10 minutes, both teams were very efficient putting the ball in the basket.
Miami, however, jumped out to a 21-17 lead behind a name UM fans are going to get used to quickly.
James Kelly, making his first start for the Hurricanes, knocked down two big threes and went coast-to-coast for a thunderous dunk to spark the 'Canes.
The game started to slow down a bit, but a strong drive by Manu LeComte, and a three ball for Rion Brown that LeComte set up perfectly built the lead to 9.
Miami was beginning to take over.
UM's ball movement was key in the first half. Additionally, they were clearly quicker and stronger then Charleston getting to the glass.
Two under-handed free throws by COC's Canyon Berry (Legendary UM alum Rick Barry's youngest son) cut into the lead, but Donnovan Kirk hit a turn around jumper to answer immediately.
Davon Reed then threw a perfect pass to Rion Brown for a sensational alley-hoop to keep the lead in double figures just before halftime.
Kelly led the way at the half with14 points on 5-7 from the floor and Brown added 9 as UM took a 40-25 advantage into the locker rooms.
Early in the second half, Barry got two quick buckets to slice into the lead. But another three by Kelly stemmed the tide.
LeComte added a pair of high arching lay-ups to swell the lead to 51-34. And Kirk had a couple of nice moves in a row to balloon it over 20.
The Hurricanes got a little sloppy with the ball to help the Cougars get back in it.
C of C intially had a chance to cut the lead to 10, but a missed front end of a 1 and 1 and an elbow jumper by Brown padded the lead back to a dozen. The Cougars has their issues all night from the charity stripe.
An Anthony Stitt 3 pointer eventually cut the lead to single digits, and TD Arena got very loud. Another LeComte lay in though, quieted things quickly. The savvy freshman from Belgium finished with 14 huge points.
From there Miami cruised.
Kelly would finish with a team high 18 and Brown chipped in 15.
The Canes improved to 3-1 and next face UCF at the BUC, Thursday at 7PM.
The Hurricanes still have a long way to go before ACC play, and will be be challenged immensely next week in Anaheim.
But if they continue the incremental improvement they have show over the last three games, they will be no easy out for any team on their schedule.
|Miami (FL) Hurricanes|
|Donnavan Kirk, F||4-8||1-1||0-0||3||6||9||0||0||2||3||1||9|
|James Kelly, F||6-9||3-3||3-4||0||4||4||1||2||1||0||2||18|
|Garrius Adams, G||2-5||1-3||0-0||0||2||2||2||0||0||0||5||5|
|Manu Lecomte, G||4-8||0-0||6-6||0||4||4||5||0||0||3||4||14|
|Rion Brown, G||6-10||1-2||2-2||2||2||4||2||2||0||1||1||15|
|Erik Swoope, F||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Tonye Jekiri, C||3-4||0-0||0-0||2||1||3||0||0||1||0||3||6|
|Davon Reed, G||1-6||1-2||0-0||1||1||2||3||0||1||2||3||3|
|Willis Hall, F||5-7||2-2||0-0||4||3||7||3||1||0||0||3||12|
|Adjehi Baru, F||2-3||0-0||1-2||3||4||7||1||0||1||4||2||5|
|Canyon Barry, G||3-8||0-3||2-3||0||0||0||2||1||0||5||2||8|
|Anthony Stitt, G||3-8||1-3||1-3||1||3||4||2||1||0||1||0||8|
|Joe Chealey, G||4-9||2-4||2-4||0||2||2||1||1||1||1||3||12|
|Terrance O'Donohue, F||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Anthony Thomas, F||2-3||0-1||4-8||1||2||3||0||0||0||0||0||8|
|David Wishon, C||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Theo Johnson, G||0-1||0-0||1-2||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||1|
|Johnathan Burroughs-Cook, G||0-3||0-2||0-0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||3||0|