Before we get to the recap - some music to honor another vanquished opponent is in order. It is Alabama...Sorry Jerry and Chad.
Miami got off to a quick start, with Joe Thomas capping off a 12-0 game-starting run with spin move in the lane, forcing South Alabama to call a time out. Manu Lecomte drilled his second three to extend the lead to 15-0.
Deandre Burnett snagged an offensive rebound among the trees and extended the UM lead to 17-0. Coach Larranaga launched the scramble, which lead to an Angel Rodriguez steal and a James Palmer putback to make it 19-0. Then it was 21-0. Then it was 23-0 after a Ja'Quan Newton drive.
Finally, Abdul Lewis hit a jumper to put the Jaguars on the board. Things improved slightly for the over-matched Jaguars, but slightly in the sense that they didn't lose 165-0.
Just before halftime, Omar Sherman drove the baseline and dunked with two hands, creating posters like candy from a pinata. The 'Canes took a commanding 43-21 lead into the break.
Tonye Jekiri did his best Magic Johnson impersonation the first half with 9pts, 6reb, 6ast, and 3 blocks. Jekiri has been incredible for the 'Canes this year.
In the second half, South Alabama hit some shots and cut the lead under 20. However, it didn't really matter. Sheldon McClellan was able drive to the bucket whenever he wanted. And when driving wasn't an option, the inbounds lob from Angel Rodriguez was always an option...
Still, the determined Jaguars kept picking away at the lead and chiseled it down to 14 with 8:38 left in the game and the 'Canes up 63-49. Coach Larranaga appeared to read the riot act to his squad after some sloppy play. Burnett drilled a three to put the canes up 69-52 with just 6:57 left in the game. But South Alabama still had fight and closed the lead to 12 before Burnett drained another 3 - showing why he can be such a dynamic player for Miami.
But Miami seemed to settle for outside jumpers down the stretch while the Jaguars caught fire, closing the deficit back to 12 with 4:28 left. Even though the 'Canes had a solid lead, it felt like South Alabama had gained some momentum and Coach Larranaga looked unhappy on the sidelines However, the 'Canes would defend their double-digit lead. Sherman drilled a 3 with just under two-minutes left and that seemed to deflate the Jaguars like the tire of a jalopy left on the side of the road in Midland, Texas.
The #17 'Canes go to 7-0 with a huge match-up at home against Illinois on Tuesday, December 2nd @9pm.
Final Thoughts: The strides made by Lecomte and Jekiri - the only two active players to see time last season. Lecomte came on at the midpoint of last season and really blossomed during ACC play. Jekiri, a raw athletic freak, showed massive improvement toward the end of last season and seems to be improving every time out this year.
|South Alabama Jaguars|
|Dionte Ferguson, F||5-14||0-0||2-3||9||5||14||1||0||0||1||2||12|
|Georgi Boyanov, F||3-4||1-2||1-2||3||3||6||0||1||0||1||2||8|
|Barrington Stevens, G||6-12||0-2||0-0||0||3||3||5||0||0||2||4||12|
|Ken Williams, G||7-19||2-9||0-0||1||3||4||2||4||1||0||0||16|
|John Brown, G||1-5||0-0||0-0||1||0||1||3||2||0||1||1||2|
|Abdul Lewis, F||4-9||0-1||2-6||3||4||7||0||0||0||1||2||10|
|Tafari Whittingham, F||1-5||0-1||0-0||1||0||1||0||0||1||0||1||2|
|Austin Karazsia, F||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|Luka Andjusic, G||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Taishaun Johnson, G||5-10||1-3||2-3||0||2||2||0||0||0||0||5||13|
|Miami (FL) Hurricanes|
|Tonye Jekiri, C||4-7||0-0||5-6||2||6||8||8||0||5||2||3||13|
|Joe Thomas, F||1-1||0-0||0-2||1||1||2||1||0||0||0||1||2|
|Angel Rodriguez, G||2-7||1-2||2-2||0||3||3||1||2||0||3||1||7|
|Sheldon McClellan, G||6-6||1-1||4-4||0||2||2||2||0||0||1||1||17|
|Manu Lecomte, G||3-6||2-3||6-6||1||2||3||5||1||0||0||1||14|
|Omar Sherman, F||6-11||1-3||0-0||1||6||7||1||0||1||2||3||13|
|Deandre Burnett, G||4-9||2-4||0-0||1||1||2||0||0||1||0||0||10|
|Ja'Quan Newton, G||2-3||0-0||1-2||0||1||1||0||0||0||1||1||5|
|James Palmer, G||3-7||0-3||0-1||2||2||4||3||0||1||0||0||6|
Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: 1 SOUTH ALABAMA ( Johnson 1 ) - TEAMS: None