Despite a sluggish first half, the Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball team took care of business its season-opening 77-45 win over Gardner-Webb.
But the No. 13-ranked Canes have a quick turnaround before hosting the Naval Academy on Sunday, 4 p.m. at the Watsco Center.
The Midshipmen (1-0) kicked its season off with a 71-62 upset win over Pittsburgh in the Veterans Classic. It was Navy’s first win over an Atlantic Coast Conference team since 1971.
Bryce Dulin led Navy in scoring with 18 points and Shawn Anderson was the only other Midshipmen player in double-figures with 15 points. Anderson also led Navy with nine rebounds and five assists.
As a team, Navy held Pitt to 41.8 percent shooting. The Midshipmen attempted the same amount of shots as Pitt (55) and both teams made the same amount of three-pointers, but Navy shot much better from behind the arc (42.1 percent compared to 28.6 for Pitt). The biggest difference came at the free throw line where Navy went 15-of-18 while Pitt struggled, only hitting 8-of-15.
Navy also outrebounded Pitt 39-30 and assisted on 20 out its 24 made baskets.
Miami hopes to play a full game against Navy like they played the second half against Gardner-Webb. The Hurricanes fell behind 7-0 before running off ten straight points to take a lead. After Gardner-Webb tied the game at 12 midway through the first half, Miami reclaimed the lead and would not give it up for the rest of the game.
Five Hurricanes players scored in double-figures, led by bigs Dewan Huell and Ebuka Izundu with 14 points each. Stud sophomore Bruce Brown Jr. finished with a triple-double (10 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists) for the second one of his college career and only the third in Hurricanes history.
Lonnie Walker, the much-hyped freshman, came off the bench to score 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting in his collegiate regular season debut.
The Canes’ defense was all over Gardner-Webb, holding the Runnin’ Bulldogs 31.7 percent shooting and 25 percent three-point shooting.