The Canes (6-0) beat the Alabama State Hornets on Wednesday night, 83-74, to continue their winning streak.
Dwayne Collins led Miami with a season-high 16 points off the bench. Center Anthony King contributed a double-double for Miami, with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Miami had five players score in double figures.
The win gives the Hurricanes a 6-0 undefeated streak to start the season, the longest since the 2001-02 season, when they started 14-0.
Miami was efficient feeding the ball into their post players all night. The Hornets, in turn, had trouble defending, and were forced into foul trouble. Alabama State (2-2) committed a total of 19 team fouls, and had three players foul out in the process.
Head Coach Frank Haith acknowledged that it was important for the Hurricanes to establish themselves as a force down low in order to be successful this season.
“Our post enforced their will on them,” Haith said. “The strength of our team is our post game. It also opens it up for our perimeter guys.”
Collins was very effective for the Canes, shooting 5-for-7 from the field. He also added six rebounds and three blocks.
“I like coming off the bench,” Collins said. “I can see the game before I come in, and I can see what moves I can make.”
Miami’s defense forced the Hornets into nine turnovers, including two shot clock violations. Alabama State spent much of the first half in foul trouble, with seven early team fouls before the 11-minute mark.
Miami’s offense, though, failed to capitalize on ASU’s sloppy play. With their leading scorer Jack McClinton out with a wrist injury, Miami seemed lost on the perimeter. Point guard Eddie Rios particularly struggled, shooting 0-for-7 in the first half.
“We got off to a slow start tonight,” Haith said. “Offensively, we settled for too many jump shots. We’ve got to understand that we have to get the ball inside.”
A 3-pointer from Brian Asbury with 10 seconds remaining broke a tied game, giving the ‘anes a 31-28 lead going into halftime.
Miami then went on to blow the game wide open in the second half, thanks in large part to an 19-9 run that put the Canes up 57-42 with 9:51 to play.
A jumper by Collins with 4:25 left gave Miami an 18-point lead, their largest of the game.
The Canes were able to reestablish dominance in the post, with King scoring 10 of his 14 points in the second half. The shooting also improved, as the Hurricanes shot 50 percent in the second half. Forward Brian Asbury gave them a much-needed boost with 12 second-half points. Rios also recovered from his poor first half to finish with 11 points and five assists.
“I was kind of rushing it,” Rios said. “I’ve got to let the game come to me and get my teammates involved.”
Joel Brown may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.