Miami men’s basketball thrived in the second half of Friday night’s game against UNC Greensboro, winning 79-65 at the Watsco Center. The 46 points in the second half are the most Miami has scored in one half since defeating Auburn in the NCAA Tournament last season.
“We needed a much better second half on both ends [of the floor], and we got it,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said to reporters after the game. “We played extremely well.”
In the first, the Hurricanes (2-0) were not clinking offensively. 10 turnovers by Miami yielded 15 points for the Spartans (1-0), resulting in a 34-33 halftime lead for the away team.
“We had too many [turnovers],” Larrañaga said. “When we start to get up into high turnover numbers, it is a real problem.
UNC Greensboro senior guard Keondre Kennedy had nine points at the break, which led the team in scoring. He finished the game with 12 points.
The ‘Canes shot lights-out in the second half, hitting 53% of their shots from the field and 59% of them from 3-point range. They only shot 29% from beyond the arc in their previous game against Lafayette.
Fifth-year senior guard Jordan Miller led Miami in points with 19. Fourth-year junior guard Isaiah Wong and third-year sophomore guard Nijel Pack had great scoring performances of their own with 15 and 14 points, respectively.
Junior guard Harland Beverly had an under-the-radar performance.
Coming off a back injury that shut down his season in the previous campaign, he shot 3-for-4 from the field on the night, with all of his shots coming from deep. Beverly’s 3-pointers were the most that he has made in a single game in his career.
“It feels good,” Beverly said postgame. “The injury was probably the hardest thing I ever had to do. I kind of blacked out – I don’t even remember – but it was just amazing.”
The atmosphere at the Watsco Center provided an amazing experience for the team. With the student section packed with fans, the home-court presence was fierce. The players even rushed into the student section after the game concluded.
“It’s night and day when they come out to support us,” Miller said. “We really appreciate the student section and going in the crowd is us saying thank you back to them.”
The ‘Canes look to continue these winning ways in front of their home crowd against Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) next Tuesday at the Watsco Center. Tip-off will be at 7 p.m.