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Canes Storm Past Mountain Hawks, 83-62

Canes Storm Past Mountain Hawks, 83-62

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – All five starters reached double figures for the University of Miami basketball team Friday night at the Watsco Center, as Jim Larrañaga began his eighth season at the helm with the Hurricanes topping Lehigh, 83-62.

Sophomore guard Chris Lykes capped off the season opener with a career-high 22 points, converting on a career-high eight free-throws and tying a career high with four 3-pointers.

Stuffing the stat sheet, senior guard Anthony Lawrence II picked up his third career double-double, notching 19 points and a team-high 12 rebounds, while blocking a trio of shots, dishing out a pair of assists and recording a team-high three steals.

Also chipping in on the offensive end, junior guard Dejan Vasiljevic finished the night with 16 points, sophomore forward Sam Waardenburg scored 11 and senior center Ebuka Izundu capped off the night with 10 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.

Trailing 2-0 in the opening minute, Lawrence knocked down a 3-pointer to give the Canes a lead they would not look back on. Moments later, off of a block by Lawrence, sophomore guard Lykes found himself on the fast break before knocking down Miami’s second three of the night.

Overall, the Canes went on a 16-3 run following the opening basket by the Mountain Hawks, to jump in front 16-5, with 16:09 to play in the half.

Leading 25-16, Lykes nearly ripped the roof off the building with a cross-over move that sent his defender to the floor. The Mitchellville, Md., native followed up the ankle-breaking move with a three, to place the Canes up 12. Momentum continued to swing in favor of Miami, as sophomore forward Waardenburg finished back-to-back end ones to give Miami its largest lead of the half, 34-16.

Following the run, both teams got cold to close out the half, combining to shoot 2-of-26 from the field. Despite the offensive struggles, the Hurricanes continued to wreak havoc on the defensive front closing out the half with a combined six blocks, while also holding the Mountain Hawks to shoot 23.2-percent (7-of-30) from the field, as they took a 12-point, 38-26, lead into the break.

Shooting 1-of-3 from 3-point range in the opening frame, Vasiljevic came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, knocking down back-to-back threes and a pair of free-throws scoring eight of the Canes first 10 points of the period.

Following the offensive explosion, Lehigh began to claw its way back into the contest, cutting the Miami lead to as little as six points, 53-47, with 12:24 to play.

The Canes quickly returned to a double-digit lead after a sequence of events, beginning with a 3-pointer by Lykes with 10:48 to go. Moments later, Lawrence took advantage of a bad pass, which led to a pair of free-throws for Lykes on the opposite end, before Lykes returned the favor by sending Lawrence a beautiful up-court pass, as the senior finished the lay-up to secure his double-double performance.

Miami went on to take its largest lead of the game with 1:26 remaining, when Lawrence drained his fourth three of the night to give the Canes a 24-point advantage, 83-59.

The Canes, who trailed for just 10 seconds, converted on 14 three-pointers and forced 18 Mountain Hawk turnovers.

Dewan Hernandez did not participate in tonight’s action, as the junior forward was withheld from competition as the University and the NCAA review his eligibility.

The Hurricanes will return to the Watsco Center on Tuesday, as they are set to host Stephen F. Austin at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU.

To keep up with the University of Miami men’s basketball team on social media follow @CanesHoops on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.