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Miami Hurricanes Basketball Stays Perfect, Shatter Charlotte 77-58

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UM makes mince meat of the 49ers to win the Gildan Charleston Classic for the second time.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The sign of a really great team is when they can look a little below their best AND still win a game easily.

Facing a feisty and skilled opponent, UM seemed at times to be a little off their game early on.

It didn't last long.

Similarly to their previous game Vs Akron, the 'Canes turned a competitive contest into a one-sided affair as they dominated Charlotte in the second half behind another balanced effort, completing the Gildan Chalreston Classic off with a 77-58 win.

Angel Rodriguez nailed a three pointer on Miami's opening possession, but the length of Charlotte was an issue for Miami in the first 15 minutes of the game, as they struggled to find good shots.

UM did catch an early break though, when one of the 49ers best players, Braxton Ogbueze was injured 5 minutes in.

Despite this, the 49ers got inside at will it seemed, with big buckets from Pierria Henry and Mike Thorne Jr. spurning them to an early 14-12 lead.

As has become the norm in 'Canes games, Coach Larranaga recognized the issue and switched to zone, and Miami immediately responded with a 5-0 run sparked by an and one for Tonye Jekiri.

Alan Major's squad responded though, and hit back to back threes to bring UM out of their zone.

Miami did hold onto the lead, behind a couple of nifty baskets by Sheldon McClellan.

In a back and forth first 20 minutes in which neither team really seemed in control, the Hurricanes finally found a little separation and took a 38-31 lead to intermission with two huge late treys from James Palmer in the far right corner sparking the  advantage.

Miami was just 4-14 from deep in the first stanza, but still did manage to shoot 47% from the floor overall with McClellan leading the team with 8 points on 4-8 shooting.

Ivan Benkovic paced the 49ers with 9 on 3-3 from deep.

In the opening minutes of the second half, the 'Canes were able to get the ball inside and score on drives by Rodriguez and McClellan.

This set the tone.

Charlotte responded with a big basket by Thorne, but UM took 43-36 lead to the TV timeout.

Moments later Jekiri found a cutting McClellan for a one handed slam to extend the lead to double digits.

The biggest difference over the final 20 minutes being the hustle and quickness to the ball of the Hurricanes.

A mad scramble for the ball at the 12 minute mark concluded with Lecomte collecting the ball and finding JaQuan Newton who dropped a dime to McClellan for the basket and the harm to conclude an 11-2 run.

Perfect team work, and the rout was on.

Charlotte started to turn the ball over nearly every possession, and the result was another huge run that put the 'Canes up 20+.

The rest was pretty much academic.

Rodriguez and McClellan even went Shane Larkin/Kenny Kadji circa 2012 with a lob off the glass for a dunk during garbage time.

If the 2014 version of Miami continues at this rate, it might not be the last time they resemble that squad.

McClellan finished with 19 points, leading the way among 5 UM scorers in double digits.

Rodriguez and Jekiri were named to the All Tournament team.

Look for the 'Canes to crack the AP top 25 tomorrow.

Next up:

Miami takes on these very same 49ers, Tuesday 9PM in Charlotte.