The Canes finished their non-conference schedule with a Saturday afternoon matchup against Campbell. Miami was hoping to close 2018 executing well with their little depth preserved with good health. Saturday proved to be a much bumpier road than the Canes would have liked, but over Coach Larranaga and company were grateful to come out of the game relatively unscathed with a victory in hand.
Miami controlled the majority of the opening frame with red-hot shooting and solid play on the defensive end. Chris Lykes came out very agressive, leading all scorers at the break with 14 points on 5 of 7 shooting. Zach Johnson was perfect shooting the ball, hitting all 3 of his attempts from behind the arc for 9 first half points. Anthony Lawrence II set himself up for another quality all-around performance with 7 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists. As a team, the Canes shot 57% from the floor and 64% from deep, but 9 first-half turnovers kept Campbell within striking distance.
On the defensive end, Miami held the Camels to 35% shooting and just 3 of 16 from behind the arc. Campbell’s top player, Chris Clemons, was only able to muster 7 points in the opening frame despite averaging 30.5 points on the season. Still, Campbell trailed by only 11 at the break.
The second half was a dead heat, as Campbell ratcheted up the defensive intensity and started seeing some shots fall that did not in the first half. The Canes also had a pair of injury scares, as both Amp Lawrence and Ebuka Izundu had to leave the game due to leg injuries. Luckily for Miami, both players returned after a short break. The Camels pushed the Canes all the way to the final whistle, but the home team was able to preserve their 11-point lead. Zach Johnson finished as the top scorer with 22 points (on only 6 shots and 9 trips to the foul line) and added 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Chris Lykes also crossed the 20-point threshold with 21 points, along with 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Amp Lawrence was the leading rebounder with 8 boards to go with his 11 points.
Campbell used a 3⁄4 court press for the majority of the game, and it served its purpose as the Canes committed 18 turnovers. Chris Clemons led the Camels with 19 points, followed by Andrew Eudy and Ja’Cor Nelson with 14 points each. Eudy completed a double-double with 11 rebounds as well.
There were a couple of injury scares, and the Canes probably should have won this game by a wider margin, but overall the game was a success and Miami should feel much better than they did 2 weeks ago. The Canes return next Thursday, January 3rd at home vs the 20th-ranked NC State Wolfpack to start their conference slate. Tip-off is at 7:00pm ET on ESPNU.