'Canes Start Off Slow Again But Balanced Attack Beats Texas Southern, 84-69

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Despite another slow start, the Canes got hot and dominated Texas Southern, 84-69.

For the third straight game to begin the season, the Canes were slow to get their offense going from the start. Texas Southern jumped on the Canes early and took a quick 12-0 lead. It took the Canes 6 minutes to get a basket when Donnavan Kirk finally hit a runner in the lane.

The Canes, however, came storming back thanks to their new additions. James Kelly and Davon Reed came off the bench and made an immediate impact. Reed connected on all of his three 3-pointers in the first half and James Kelly had 8 first half points.

Freshman Manu Lecomte had a couple 3-pointers of his own and finished with 6 first half points. Donnavan Kirk chipped in with four points. Garrius Adams finally hit a three-pointer late in the first half after 14 straight misses to start the season and finished the half with 7 points on 6 shots.

For Texas Southern, Aaric Murray led them with 8 first half points and Ray Penn added 6 of his own.

The Canes took a 44-32 lead into the half, but it came with a price. Sophomore center Tonye Jekiri left with a lower extremity injury and did not return. It didn't look good as he couldn't walk off under his own power, but we'll know more soon.

The second half was the James Kelly show at the Bank United Center.  Kelly scored 9 points in the first 8 minutes of the half and he finished the game with 17 points and 7 rebounds. Donnavan Kirk continued his strong start to his season and had 15 points and 3 rebounds. Davon Reed only scored 2 points in the second half but still finished with a career-high 11 points.

Captain Rion Brown finished the game with 13 points on 6-for-11 shooting. Brown was one assist short of a triple double as he added 11 rebounds and 9 assists, as well as 3 steals, to his point total.

Texas Southern, who had been averaging 104 points per game after their wins over Norfolk State and Wiley, was held to 69 points by Miami's defense. The Canes played really good defense after opening up the game very poorly.

Ray Penn connected on 5 of his 6 triple attempts and finished the game with 15 points. Aaric Murray who had been on a terrific start to his season had 16 points on 5-for-13 shooting.

The Canes as a team connected on 10 threes, while Texas Southern hit on 11.

Six Canes finished with double-digit scoring. By far their best all-around game of the young season.

The Good: The three-pointer. The Canes came into tonight's game shooting 16% on 6-for-36 shooting from beyond the arc, but against Texas Southern they were able to connect on 10 three-pointers on 21 attempts.

The Bad: Despite winning easily at home, the Canes didn't start of well for the third time this season. Texas Southern jumped out to a 12-0 lead to start the game and that's something the Canes need to improve when the competition gets better.

The Ugly: Tonye Jekiri left the game with a leg injury and although his status is unknown, the injury did not look good on first sight. Jekiri is a huge part of the rotation and the Canes can't afford him to miss significant time.

Dont Be Like Me: While watching this game all I could think while watching this game was of the movie "Glory Road" where Texas WESTERN defeats Kentucky in the national championship game with an all-black lineup. Of course, that school is now UTEP, but I just wanted Texas Southern to be the school from the movie so badly.

Next Up: UM travels to Charleston for a showdown on 11/18 at 7:30 PM.

NOTES  (Courtesy UM)

Tonight’s starting five: Rion Brown, Manu Lecomte, Donnavan Kirk, Garrius Adams, Tonye Jekiri. This is the third game in a row that Coach Larrañaga has put out the same starting five.

Miami has made 16 three-pointers over the last two games after making zero in the opener against St. Francis Brooklyn.

Miami’s 44-32 halftime lead was its largest of the season.

Thursday marked the second consecutive game that five or more Canes scored more than 10 points.

Miami’s largest lead of the game was 22, marking the largest lead the Canes have had all season.

Texas Southern called their first timeout 54 seconds into the game; the score was still tied at zero.

Miami started 0-8 from the field before making their first shot at 13:51 of the first half. Donnavan Kirk made a 7-foot runner in the lane.

Texas Southern went on a 12-0 run to start the game before Donnavan Kirk’s two-pointer. Over the next 14:00, Miami went on a 44-20 run, shooting 8-13 (62%) from beyond the arc.

Newcomers were a factor in the comeback, scoring 13 of the Canes’ first 15 points.

Rion Brown was one assist from notching a triple-double, recording 13 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. He also had three steals.

James Kelly hit the first three of his Miami career, and ended with a trio from long distance. Kelly set career highs in two statistical categories in just the first half, scoring eight points and grabbing five rebounds. He finished the game with 17 points and seven rebounds.

Donnavan Kirk recorded a block for the third game in a row.

In his past two games, Manu Lecomte has recorded five assists, two steals and zero assists. He also has seven rebounds and 24 points.

Raphael Akpejiori scored his first points of the 2013-14 season, a put back with 2:15 left in the second half.

Texas Southern Tigers
STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
DeAngelo Scott, F 28 2-5 0-0 3-4 5 4 9 3 0 0 3 1 7
Vicktor Arnick, F 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Jose Rodriguez, F 26 4-10 0-3 3-6 0 5 5 2 0 0 2 1 11
Ray Penn, G 31 5-10 5-6 0-0 1 3 4 4 0 0 3 0 15
Lawrence Johnson-Danner, G 32 3-7 2-4 2-2 0 2 2 0 0 0 2 0 10
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Aaron Clayborn, F 25 2-7 0-0 1-1 2 1 3 0 0 0 2 2 5
Aaric Murray, C 34 5-13 3-8 3-4 0 1 1 2 2 2 3 4 16
Madarious Gibbs, G 23 2-2 1-1 0-0 1 2 3 2 1 0 1 3 5
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
23-54 11-22 12-17 9 22 31 13 3 2 16 11 69
42.6% 50.0% 70.6%
Miami (FL) Hurricanes
STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Donnavan Kirk, F 30 7-12 0-2 1-1 2 1 3 1 2 3 0 3 15
Tonye Jekiri, C 12 2-6 0-0 0-0 2 2 4 0 0 0 1 1 4
Garrius Adams, G 26 4-10 1-4 1-2 1 4 5 2 3 0 1 1 10
Manu Lecomte, G 33 4-8 2-4 2-2 2 1 3 4 2 0 0 1 12
Rion Brown, G 34 6-12 1-2 0-0 3 8 11 9 3 0 4 1 13
BENCH MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Erik Swoope, F 5 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 1 0
James Kelly, F 28 7-11 3-4 0-0 1 6 7 2 2 0 1 3 17
Raphael Akpejiori, F 2 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 3 2
Michael Fernandez, G 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Justin Heller, G 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Steve Sorenson, G 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Davon Reed, G 27 4-8 3-4 0-1 2 1 3 3 0 0 1 0 11
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
35-69 10-20 4-6 15 26 41 21 12 4 9 14 84
50.7% 50.0% 66.7%

Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: None - TEAMS: None
Officials: Ray Perone, Karl Hess, Michael Roberts
Attendance: 4,728

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