The Miami Hurricanes earned their first win of the season on Friday night, with a 74-60 win over the Florida Atlantic Owls. The Hurricanes played a strong game, with three players with double-digit scoring.
Miami started out slow against the Owls. FAU came out strong, leading 5-2 after two minutes. The bright spot of the opening was another beautiful drive to the hoop by transfer Kameron McGusty, who continues to be an offensive threat for the ‘Canes.
Through five minutes the ‘Canes still hadn’t found their shot, and they headed to the 15 minute mark of the first half shooting just 2-11 from the field and trailing 7-5.
After the slow start Miami looked for scoring off the bench, with freshmen Isaiah Wong and Harlond Beverly first into the game. They both provided the scoring the ‘Canes were looking for, with Wong driving into the paint to hit a layup to put the ‘Canes up 9-7, and Beverly following with a three to make the score 12-9 ‘Canes.
However, during that stretch Miami’s interior defense continued to struggle, with FAU center Aleksandar Zecevic hitting a layup that meant the Owls stayed within one possesion of the ‘Canes with the score at 14-11 Miami at the under-12 minutes media timeout.
Both teams went back and forth almost all the way to the end of the first half. Out of the timeout FAU’s Karlis Silins hit a three to tie the game at 14. Chris Lykes responded by driving for a layup, before Silins hit another three. The two teams exchanged scoreless possessions after the quick scoring with the Owls leading 20-19 with seven and a half minutes remaining in the half.
A few good post plays from Sam Waardenburg put the ‘Canes up 27-24 with two and a half minutes left to play before the break. As the half neared it’s end the ‘Canes started to take control, going on a 10-2 run with baskets from Rodney Miller, Beverly, and two points from the line for Wong to lead 35-26.
Out of the half Miami continued to take control of the game. The Hurricanes used two beautiful driving layups and a three from DJ Vasiljevic to lead 46-33 with 16 minutes remaining.
FAU then started to make a run back at the ‘Canes, cutting the lead to seven at 51-44 with 11 and a half minutes left on the back of two threes from Cornelius Taylor and good interior buckets from Zecevic and Everett Winchester. The Owls continued to threaten, coming within three of the ‘Canes, before allowing Beverly and Lykes to combine for two buckets to make the score 57-50 Miami with eight minutes remaining.
Miami regained control in the ensuing three minute stretch, going on a 12-0 run, with threes from McGusty, Beverly, and Vasiljevic, to lead 67-50 with five minutes remaining in the game.
The two teams traded shots down the stretch, with Chris Lykes driving to the hoop for a layup and draining a corner three to give him a team high 15 points on the night. The game finished with the ‘Canes winning the turnover battle 15-5 and shooting 45% from the floor.
Miami will next see the court when they face UCF on the road next Tuesday. That game will tip-off at 9:00 P.M. Eastern and will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network.