Dandy Debut: McClellan Scores 18 in Season Opener
UT Rio Grande Valley5986Miami
|Box Score||Full Broadcast|
|Jim Larrañaga||Dan Hipsher|
|Ivan Cruz Uceda
|SCORE BY HALF|
|Click here to enlarge|
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) –Sheldon McClellan scored 18 points to lead Miami to an 86-59 win over Texas Rio Grande Valley in the season-opener for both teams Friday night.
The Hurricanes overcame sub-par first half shooting with a 14-4 spurt in the first 4:09 of the second half. Ivan Cruz Uceda’s 3-pointer 19 seconds into the second half gave Miami its first double-digit lead at 31-20.
James Palmer’s 3-pointer with 15:51 remaining closed the early second half surge and increased Miami’s lead to 42-24.
The Vaqueros got no closer than 51-41 after Shaquille Hines’ 3-pointer with 11:15 remaining. Hines scored 18 points for TRGV.
Palmer’s 3-pointer with 5:51 left gave the Hurricanes their first 20-point lead at 71:49.
Cruz Uceda finished with 16 points and shot 4-of-7 from behind the arc. Davon Reed scored 14 points for Miami. Palmer and Jaquan Newton also finished in double-figure scoring for Miami with 11 points each.
The Hurricanes shot 1-of-12 from 3-point range in the first half but converted three of their first four shots from behind the arc in the second half.
Miami outscored the TRGV 13-7 in the last 8:01 of the first half. Newton’s two free throws with 1:25 remaining closed the first half scoring and gave the Hurricanes a 28-20 lead at intermission.
Both teams struggled offensively in the first half. UTRVG shot 29.6 percent from the field and Miami fared even lower at 27.6 percent.
Miami suspended transfer forward Kamari Murphy for the first three games of the season for a violation of team rules. Murphy, who played his first two seasons at Oklahoma State, sat out 2014-15 because of transfer rule requirements.
Miami: McLellan is one of 20 pre-season candidates for the 2016 Jerry West Award, recognizing the nation’s top shooting guard. McLellan averaged 14.5 points per game last season.
UTRGV: Vaqueros coach Dan Hipsher has multiple Florida stops on his lengthy coaching resume. Hipsher was an assistant at Miami-Dade Community College (1978-80), Stetson (1993-95) and South Florida (2007-09).
Starters for the game: Angel Rodriguez, Sheldon McClellan, Davon Reed, Ivan Cruz Uceda and Tonye Jekiri.
Five players scored in double digits for the Canes: McClellan (18), Cruz Uceda (16), Reed (14), Ja’Quan Newton (11) and James Palmer (11).
McClellan’s 18 points mark the ninth time as a Hurricane he has scored 18-or-more points.
Senior Tonye Jekiri grabbed seven rebounds in the first half, and ended the night with 12 boards.
Sophomore James Palmer grabbed a career-best six rebounds, topping his previous high of four, which he pulled down three times last season, most recently against Temple on March 31, 2015.
Senior Ivan Cruz Uceda tied a career high of seven rebounds, only matched against Alabama on March 21, 2015.
Freshmen Anthony Lawrence, Ebuka Izundu and Mike Robinson made their collegiate debuts in the season opener.
Junior forward Kamari Murphy will sit out the first three games of the season due to a violation of team rules.
After scoring 28 points in the first half, Miami knocked down 58 points in the second stanza. UTRGV only scored 59 total points for the game.
Miami started the game 7-of-7 at the free throw line, and was 11-of-12 (91.7%) at the half. The Hurricanes finished the game hitting 24-of-33 free throws.
All 11 Canes played in the game, and nine of 11 scored.
Miami’s first points of the season came from Sheldon McClellan with a jumper in the lane, just 90 seconds into the game.
The Canes’ first free throws of the season came from Davon Reed, sinking two at the 18:07 mark.
Miami’s first 3-pointer of the season came from Ivan Cruz Uceda at 17:09 in the first half.
Sheldon McClellan threw down the team’s first alley-oop of the season, off an assist from Angel Rodriguez.