Hurricanes sink season-high in three pointers, beat Stetson in final non-conference game

Senior guard Charlie Moore brings the ball downcourt during the first half of Miami’s game versus Stetson University in the Watsco Center on Dec. 20, 2021.
Senior guard Charlie Moore brings the ball downcourt during the first half of Miami’s game versus Stetson University in the Watsco Center on Dec. 20, 2021. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

The Miami Hurricanes delivered 14 3-pointers on Monday night, part of an 82-72 win over Stetson at the Watsco Center.

The mark easily bested Miami’s previous season-high set against Clemson. It was the most threes Miami had hit in almost two years, when the Canes splashed a program-record 18 threes in their win over Coppin State on Dec. 21, 2019.

Miami’s 82 points against the Hatters was its second-largest tally of the season, only behind 86 points against Florida A&M. The performance was the most amongst its current five-game win streak, and it all came through a newfound movement of the basketball.

“We’re sharing the ball consistently well,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “We’re getting good balance in our offense.”

Miami (9-3, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) distributed 20 assists while committing just six turnovers, its lowest number of the season. Point guard Charlie Moore dished out a season-high eight assists, beating his previous best of five.

“I’ve started to feel more comfortable than where I was at the start of the year,” Moore said. “My teammates made it easy for me to get those assists.”

Entering Monday night, redshirt senior Kameron McGusty was tied for fourth in the ACC in points per game, averaging 17 1/2 per game. After facing Stetson (4-7), that total has only gotten better.

Redshirt senior guard Kameron McGusty makes a three-point shot during the second half of Miami’s game versus Stetson University in the Watsco Center on Dec. 20, 2021.
Redshirt senior guard Kameron McGusty makes a three-point shot during the second half of Miami’s game versus Stetson University in the Watsco Center on Dec. 20, 2021. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

McGusty scored over 20 points for the fifth time against the Hatters, scoring 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting, making his first six 3-pointers of the night. For reference, in each of his first two seasons at Miami, McGusty had only scored over 20 points seven times. Now, he’s already two below that number with over fifteen games to go.

“I don’t take L’s personally … my teammates, we don’t take losses, we take it as a lesson,” McGusty said. “Any time we play a game, and we go back to the drawing board, watch the film, we figure out what we need to do.”

For McGusty, there hasn’t much he hasn’t been able to do. The Oklahoma transfer is averaging 19.2 points during the win streak, and has shot at least 42% from the field in each game.

In addition to the 3-point barrage, there also came some very important effort. The Hurricanes totaled 14 offensive rebounds against Stetson, leading to 14 second-chance points. Miami entered Monday as the worst offensive rebounding team in the ACC, averaging a hair over seven offensive boards per contest.

Forward Jordan Miller made huge contributions to the board battle. The George Mason transfer finished with 11 rebounds versus the Hatters, including a team-high four offensive rebounds. It was the first game Miller contributed double-digit boards all season, after recording nine for the Patriots.

Miami concludes non-conference play riding its longest win streak of the season, heading into an eight-day rest period at second place in the ACC. At 9-3, the Hurricanes know they could be on the cusp of something bigger this season.

They will have the chance to prove it after the break with three conference opponents coming to Coral Gables. UM starts this stretch next Wednesday against North Carolina State, which will either be 8-4 or 7-5 going into the contest. The Wolfpack boast one of the most lethal scorers in the conference, with forward Dereon Seabron averaging 19.8 points this season, good for third in the ACC.

Miami will look to top N.C. State for the second consecutive game next Wednesday at 9 p.m. The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU.