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Hoops Preview: Miami vs New Mexico State

The Canes look to make it 11 straight wins to start the season

NCAA Basketball: North Florida at Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Miami is one of just four remaining unbeaten teams, and they’ll have to beat a 10-2 New Mexico State team to keep pace with the likes of Villanova, Arizona State and TCU.

After having a 10-day break the Canes knocked off Hawaii last night (technically early this morning with a 1am tip-off Eastern Standard Time). ‘The U’ started hot out of the gate taking a 10-2 lead, but the Rainbow Warriors came right back, and after a back-and-fourth first 20 minutes the game was knotted-up 33-33 at the break.

The final 20 minutes were a different story.

The Canes shot 69.6% in the second half and outscored Hawaii 42-24. With 16:40 to go Ja’Quan Newton hit a jumper to give Miami a 40-38 lead, and they never looked back. A 9-0 run just minutes later pushed the lead to 13 points and led coach L’s team to a comfortable road win in a hostile environment.

Newton and Dewan Huell piloted the offense putting up 16 points each, and Anthony Lawrence added 11 points as this trio led the way shooting 18/28 (64%) from the field.

The Aggies 201st ranked scoring offense faces their toughest test of the season in the Canes 2nd ranked scoring defense. They will need to slow the tempo down and create second chance scoring opportunities for their offense, and they do average 12.5 offensive boards per game.

But they don’t have the size to take advantage of Miami on the glass. And if Miami can speed up this game it could get out of hand fast. NMSU has eclipsed the 70-point mark just four of their last six times out, and quite frankly, they don’t have the firepower to keep up with Miami in a shootout.

The oddsmakers have Miami as a 9-point favorite, but I think they win this game handily.

Prediction: Miami 77 - NMSU 60

Where to Wacth: ESPN2

Up Next: If Miami wins they will face USC tomorrow in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic championship game.