Redshirt senior guard Charlie Moore led the Hurricanes in scoring with 18 points, as Miami (8-3, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) overcame a first-half deficit and beat Fordham 72-66 in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Moore nailed two shots from deep Sunday and 3-point shooting has been an area of his game that has improved drastically over the course of this season. Moore has shot 39% from beyond the arc over his last six games, which is considerably better than the 27% clip he was shooting from deep over his previous five games.
The Hurricanes were also led by sophomore guard Isaiah Wong and senior guard Kameron McGusty. The duo combined for 32 points and 11 rebounds.
The Rams (7-5) were looking to attack Miami’s lackluster perimeter defense, which entered the game ranked 326th out of 358 teams nationally in opposing three-point percentage.
“I thought we did a good job at guarding the 3-point shot,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “[Fordham] ended up only shooting in the 20s [percent from beyond the arc].”
After allowing the Rams to score 37 first-half points, Miami was able to buckle down on the defensive end and limit Fordham to only 29 points in the second half.
The defensive attention placed on Fordham forward Chuba Ohams was a big reason for this half-to-half improvement. Ohams, who entered today’s contest averaging 14.5 points a game, made five first-half field goals. He was much less effective in the second half, converting on only one field goal.
“Ohams is a handful,” Larrañaga said. “We were able to keep the ball out of his hands…credit goes to Sam Waardenburg, Jordan Miller, Deng Gak, and Anthony Walker. We tried to load up the paint when [Ohams] did have [the ball].”
Rebounding has been an issue for the Hurricanes all season long, as they entered today’s matchup ranked 339th nationally in team rebounds per game.
Despite these deficiencies on the boards, Miami out-rebounded Fordham 41-32. This was only the fourth time this season that the Hurricanes had more rebounds than their opponent.
“The rebounding totals are critical,” Larrañaga said. “That’s an area of our game that we’re spending a lot of time on in practice just trying to get better.”
This game served as a sort of homecoming for several Miami coaches and players, including Larrañaga, associate head coach Chris Caputo, redshirt senior center Rodney Miller Jr., and freshman guard Jakai Robinson, who are all from New York.
“We played in the Barclays Center, where we’re going to play in the ACC tournament, that’s why we scheduled this game,” Larrañaga said. “We wanted our guys to get a little accustomed to the New York atmosphere.”
Next up, the Hurricanes will take on Stetson on Dec. 20 at the Watsco Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
“I’m sure a lot of [our players] right now would love to be going into Manhattan and get a slice of pizza or a dirty water hot dog,” Larrañaga said.