The men’s basketball team looked impressive on Tuesday night in their 96-57 win over Alcorn State. The win improves Miami’s record to 2-0, the teams’ best start under Head Coach Frank Haith.
In a game that was decided early, the Hurricanes blew the competition away with a 19-0 run in the first half. The Alcorn State Braves struggled to score, going seven minutes without a point. Miami carried a 51-25 lead into halftime, and the lead never dropped below a 29 point lead for the remainder of the game.
Jack McClinton led the team in scoring with 21 points and 6 assists. Anthony King recorded his second consecutive double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Anthony Harris tied his career-high 10 assists in the contest.
The ‘Canes also gained an early boost from sophomore Brian Asbury, who scored the first eight Miami points.
“I just wanted to come out and play my game,” said Asbury, who finished with 15 points and 6 rebounds on 7-10 shooting. “After I got the first game under my belt, I started to feel real comfortable.”
It seemed that the entire team was feeling comfortable with each other, as they recorded 28 team assists, only one shy of the school record. With their more spread-out offense, the Hurricanes featured five different players who scored in double figures.
“These guys have great chemistry and we’re passing the ball really well,” Haith said. “This is the best passing team we’ve had since I’ve been here.”
The momentum seemed to shift after the 10-minute mark of the first half, when Miami began its 19-0 run. Up to that point, Alcorn State was only down by five points. However, Alcorn State Head Coach Samuel West said that maintaining consistency is the same problem they have had all season.
“The first three games this year, we’ve played exceptionally good basketball for the first 10 minutes,” West said. “After the 10-minute mark, things have begun to go soft. What can I say? We’re just not a good team right now.”
Although West wouldn’t accredit Miami’s defensive efforts for the Braves’ offensive ineptitude, Haith felt that early defensive lapses helped Alcorn State to keep the score close.
“I thought defensively, we were not good early,” Haith said. “The last 10 minutes of the first half, we played really good D.”
With an early undefeated record, the Hurricanes will look to maintain the same level of play as they travel to their first road game of the season. The team will be participating in the America Youth Classic in Evansville, Ind., playing in three games from Friday to Sunday. Their opponents for the weekend will be Evansville, Buffalo and Cleveland State.
“We’re going to have three very difficult ballgames, but I think it’s good for us,” Haith said. “I’m looking forward to seeing our guys play on the road in front of a hostile environment.”
Although the team looked impressive so far this the season, Haith believes that they have not yet reached their full potential. He expects better things to happen as the season progresses.
“Surely, you don’t want to be playing your best basketball in November,” Haith said. “You want to peak later in the year. There’s definitely room for us to improve. We just want to continue to play better.”
Joel Brown may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org