Miami defeats Wofford 74-57 in HoopHall Miami Invitational

Freshman forward Dewan Huell (20) jumps above a Wofford player during the Hurricanes’ 74-57 win Saturday at the Hoophall Invitational in the AmericanAirlines Arena. Josh White // Staff Photographer

Junior guard Ja’Quan Newton tallied 15 points and 9 assists, redshirt senior forward Kamari Murphy finished with a double-double and the Miami Hurricanes soundly handled the visiting Wofford Terriers 74-57 on Saturday evening at the AmericanAirlines Arena.

Miami started out the contest on a 26-6 burst in the first nine minutes, highlighted by intense defensive effort and hot shooting. Senior guard Davon Reed started the game off well, stripping Wofford’s Fletcher Magee and coolly knocking down a three-pointer on the other end. Sophomore center Ebuka Izundu was engaged from the tip as well, muscling in two and-one layups and smoothly dropping in a lefty hook during the run for seven of his eventual nine points.

Wofford’s Cameron Jackson attacked the rim early and often and was the Terriers’ main consistent source of buckets, continually bullying his way into the teeth of the Hurricanes defense to finish strong. He closed with 16 points and was the only Wofford player to hit more than half of his field goals.

After the hot start, Miami got sluggish and Wofford’s shot attempts began to drop, as the Terriers cut the deficit to just eight near the end of the half. That’s when the Canes’ leaders stepped up: Reed hit a tough runner to beat the shot clock, and Newton knocked down a mid-range pull-up off a great attack through the Terriers double team just before the halftime buzzer to lead Miami to a 36-24 advantage going into the break.

The Terriers blitzed the Hurricanes out of the locker room with a 7-0 run to tighten the gap. That would be the closest they would come to an upset, as emerging freshman guard Bruce Brown chipped in with eight points, including two threes, and a couple of steals to help Miami recapture its double-figure advantage.

Murphy’s 14 points was a career-high and Newton finished with a 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Reed stepped up as a secondary distributor, finishing with four assists to complement his 11 points and three steals. He played hounding defense on Wofford leading scorer Fletcher Magee, who finished shooting just 4-11 on the night. 

The Canes held a double-digit lead for the last 12 1/2 minutes and walked off the floor with the victory. The Hurricanes look to win its third straight game when the team welcomes South Carolina State to Coral Gables. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Watsco Center.