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Miami Opens Big Week with Statement Win Over Ole Miss

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By: Rob Dunning

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Before the season started, Frank Haith and his basketball team had this week circled on their calendar knowing they had an opportunity to pick up two resume building wins in a span of four days against Ole Miss and West Virginia.

One down. One to go.

The Hurricanes had their way with the visiting Rebels Tuesday night, converting 10 of their final 11 free throws to hold off a second-half rally for the 86-73 win at the BankUnited Center.

Miami (5-2) controlled the action from the start, jumping out to first half lead of 18-4 at the 13-minute mark and 42-17 at the four-minute mark before taking a 57-27 advantage into the half over Ole Miss (3-2).

However, the Rebels used a 29-8 run over 10 minutes in the second half to cut the Hurricanes’ lead to nine points, with UM up 79-70 with 4:12 remaining in the game. But strong Miami free throw shooting down the stretch secured the 17th straight non-conference home win for the Hurricanes.

“Great win for us,” Coach Haith said. “Obviously the first half we played about as well as you could play, offensively and defensively.”

Durand Scott scored a season-high 27 points to go along with six rebounds and six assists and Reggie Johnson turned in his fifth double-double in Miami’s last six games with 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead Miami to its first statement win of the 2010-11 season. Scott finished the night 12-of-13 from the line, hitting some key shots down the stretch as Ole Miss made a late rally.

“Reggie was a man in the paint,” Haith said. “Obviously Durand had one of those games tonight and he was able to close it out making his free throws.”

Perhaps an early indication of how the night would go for Miami was when Julian Gamble laid out Rebel guard Trevor Gaskins on a pick-and-roll before converting it into an easy lay-up a few minutes after tip. The play would appear to be rather meaningless in the overall scope of the game, but the energy created on `Canes bench and lost on the Ole Miss side was too significant to overlook.

Adrian Thomas‘ performance in the first half was equally important. Thomas his on 4-of-5 three-point attempts in the opening period, eventually scoring a career-high 17 points to lead the Hurricanes’ perimeter game.

“I think all of our guys were ready to play today,” Haith said. “I think we had good focus to start this ball game.”

The `Canes shot 50 percent from the field, held a 21-to-4 edge in second chance opportunities and out-rebounded the Rebels, 41-to-30.

“[Ole Miss] is good,” Haith said. “This team can win the West in the SEC. This is a great win for us.”

Chris Warren led Ole Miss with 23 points.

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  1st 2nd F
Miami 57 29 86
Ole Miss 27 46 73
Team Stat Comparison
  um.gif UM Ole Miss logo Ole Miss
Points 86 73
FG Made-Attempted 30-60 27-63
FG Percentage 50.0 42.9
3P Made-Attempted 8-19 9-24
3P Percentage 42.1 37.5
FT Made-Attempted 18-27 10-14
FT Percentage 66.7 71.4
Rebounds 41 30
Assists 17 12
Turnovers 13 7
Miami Stat Leaders Ole Miss
D. Scott 27 Points 23 C. Warren
R. Johnson 10 Rebounds 5 T. Henry
D. Scott 6 Assists 3 Warren/Nelson
J. Gamble 2 Steals 1 4 Players
R. Johnson 1 Blocks 1 3 Players

Tonight’s Starters
Starting for Miami tonight was Durand Scott, Garrius Adams, Reggie Johnson, Malcolm Grant and Julian Gamble.

With the win tonight, Miami…

  • Improves to 5-2 on the year
  • Extends their home winning streak this season to four games
  • Extends their home winning streak against non-conference opponents to 17
  • Improves to 5-4 against SEC schools under Frank Haith
  • Improves their record to 26-2 in their last 28 games against non-conference opponents
  • Improves their all-time record against Ole Miss to 3-0. This is first time the teams have met in 61 years.

Big Time Big Men
Junior forward Julian Gamble – making his third straight start – lit it up early with four points and two steals before the 15:00 minute mark

Sophomore center Reggie Johnson, had his eighth straight double-figure scoring performance, the second longest active streak in the ACC. His 17 points set a new season high, while his game-high 10 rebounds also gave him his fifth straight double-double. Johnson entered the game third in the ACC in rebounding.

Thomas for Three
Senior Adrian Thomas, who led the ACC in three-point field goal percentage last season, went 5-of-8 from behind the arc to tie a career-high for three pointers made. His career-high 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field breaks his previous best of 16 set last season against North Carolina Central. Thomas has now hit a three-pointer in 49 of his last 55 games.

Fast Start
Miami’s 57 points scored in the first half are the most Miami has scored in a half this season, and the most scored in a half since pouring in 61 first-half points on Nov. 16, 2009 against Nova Southeastern. This marks the second-straight game that Miami has scored 50-or-more points in the first half. The 30-point halftime margin is the largest of the season for the `Canes.

Great Scott
Sophomore Durand Scott also set a new season high with 27 points. This marks the third game in which he has scored at least 20 points this season and the sixth time in his career. He also added a game-high six assists, while junior Malcolm Grant dished out five assists with zero turnovers.

Ticket Information
Get a jump on tickets with the ACC Weekend 4-Pack which is on sale through Fri., Dec. 3. The 4-Pack includes a ticket to each of Miami’s home games versus Boston College (Sat., Jan. 15, 6 p.m.), Virginia (Sat., Feb. 5, 2 p.m.), Duke (Sun., Feb. 13, 6:45 p.m.) and Clemson (Sun., Feb. 20, 3:30 p.m.). Three packages are available for the 4-Pack, beginning at $68. The 4-Pack offer is available on Ticketmaster (www.hurricanesports.com or by phone at 1-800-GO-CANES.