Hurricanes falter, allow 63 points in second half to No. 10 Alabama

As the first half ended, the Hurricanes displayed their ability to keep pace with a top-10 team.

But after trailing for almost 17 minutes, No. 10 Alabama made every necessary adjustment.

The Crimson Tide charged ahead on a 22-2 run and held Miami scoreless for over five minutes in the second to cruise to a 96-64 win at the ESPN Events Invitational in Orlando, Florida.

“They were just faster than us,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “They beat us down the floor, they drove the ball to the basket, they got layups and got open threes. We couldn’t stop the dribble penetration and we couldn’t contest the threes well enough to make them miss.”

Even worse for UM, Alabama’s lead never fell below 23 points.

DePaul transfer guard Charlie Moore added seven points in the first half behind McGusty’s 10. Miami took a nine-point lead before the six-minute mark and Alabama’s 15-3 run to close the first 20 minutes.

Sixth-year redshirt senior guard Kameron McGusty scored 11 consecutive Hurricanes points after halftime and totaled 21, though the team-high was nowhere near enough to keep Miami (4-3) within reach. The former Oklahoma transfer registered 20 points on the third occasion this season and 10th at UM.

“I thought the starters played well for 15 minutes, but as soon as we went to our bench, we lost our lead and our composure,” Larrañaga said. “The second half, we just couldn’t do anything right. Once Alabama started rolling, we couldn’t stop them.”

Alabama (6-1) shot 3-of-13 from 3-point territory before halftime, but then hit 13 3-point shots to open the floodgates. Miami was out-rebounded 42-23.

Alabama guard Keon Ellis scored 17 points in the second to spark the Crimson Tide’s 63-point half, as the Hurricanes allowed the most points to a Power Five opponent since Jan. 18, 2017, a 17-point loss to Wake Forest. 15 of Ellis’ 22 total points came from beyond the 3-point arc.

Crimson Tide guard Jaden Shackelford, Alabama’s leading scorer, tallied 15 points on five 3-point makes. Forward Juwan Gary and guard JD Davison each added 13 as the Crimson Tide’s other two double-digit scorers.

Alabama scored 25 points off 13 Miami turnovers, also capitalizing on 22 assists to the Hurricanes’ six.

With its worse defeat of the season, Miami travels to State College, Pennsylvania, to face Penn State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge Tuesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:15 p.m.

“We have to play a whole lot better because we’ve got a very tough schedule coming up,” Larrañaga said. “We already have played a tough schedule. That was a very, very disappointing performance.”