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MBB Defeats Stetson, 82-60

by Alex Schwartz

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami men’s basketball team posted its second wire-to-wire victory in as many games to open the 2020-21 season, topping Stetson, 82-60, Friday night at the Watsco Center.

Despite departing midway through the second half with a left ankle injury, senior guard Chris Lykes paced Miami (2-0) with 20 points, while sophomore guard Isaiah Wong recorded a double-double.

“First of all, two areas that we’ve really concentrated on, we did very well in. We outrebounded them, 49-29, and we had 18 assists and only 10 turnovers,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “Those categories are going to be keys for us all season long.”

The Hurricanes jumped out to a 24-12 lead, but Stetson (0-2) countered with a 15-4 run that trimmed the edge to one, 28-27, with 3:48 to go in the half. The Hatters, though, went scoreless the rest of the frame, which Miami closed with a 12-0 burst to take a 40-27 advantage into the locker room.

Lykes came just three points shy of his top point total in a half by logging 16 before the break, eight of which came in the first 4:30. The Mitchellville, Md., native, who had more points than Stetson through nearly 12 minutes of play, shot 5-of-7 from the floor, 3-of-4 beyond the arc and 3-of-3 at the line in the half, adding three rebounds, four assists and one steal.

Miami scored the first nine points of the second half, making it a 21-0 run over 5:27 of play. The Hatters, meanwhile, went 6:56 without a point and fell behind, 49-27.

“They made some threes that got them back in the game and then we finished very well,” Larrañaga said. “Basically, we were ahead by double digits the whole game.”

Despite Lykes leaving the contest with 11:30 remaining, the Hurricanes extended their edge as high as 31 down the stretch, en route to the 22-point win.

Wong finished with 17 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, the latter mark matching his career high. He added three assists and committed just one turnover in 31 minutes.

Freshman forward Matt Cross and redshirt senior guard Kameron McGusty both finished with 11 points, while redshirt senior center Nysier Brooks had eight points and eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Harlond Beverly stuffed the stat sheet with five points, eight rebounds and a career-high-tying six assists, the latter mark leading Miami.

Redshirt freshman guard Chase Johnston paced the Hatters with 19 points, posting a 5-of-10 clip from long range. Sophomore forward/center Mahamadou Diawara added 14 points in the loss.

Miami held sophomore guard Rob Perry, a Preseason All-Atlantic Sun honoree who scored 26 points in Stetson’s season opener, to one point on 0-of-8 shooting, while forcing him into five turnovers.

The Hurricanes finished the game 18-of-23 (78.3 percent) from the free-throw line, while Stetson went just 3-of-8 (37.5 percent). In addition, they had a 19-8 margin in fast-break points and a 32-18 advantage in paint points.

Miami returns to action Tuesday at 5 p.m., when it hosts Purdue, live on ESPN2, in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

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

The 2020-21 Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball season is presented by First National Bank.

MIAMI HURRICANES POSTGAME NOTES
– The Hurricanes moved to 50-33 all-time against Stetson, including 31-13 at home and 2-0 in Larrañaga’s tenure.
– The Hatters are the first program, of those currently at the Division I level, Miami has defeated 50 times, good for 14 more wins than the Hurricanes have over any other team.
– Larrañaga, who entered the game with the 10th-most victories of any active Division I coach, is now 662-447 in 37 years as a head coach, including 192-113 in 10 seasons at Miami.
– With 192 victories at Miami, Larrañaga passed NC State’s Everett Case and Herb Sendek for sole possession of the No. 17 spot on the list of victories as a head coach in the ACC.
– Since the program rebirth in 1985-86, Miami is now 84-7 against in-state non-Power Five programs, including 64-2 at home and 16-2 under Larrañaga.
– For the second time in as many games, Miami used a starting lineup of Brooks, Cross, Lykes, McGusty and Wong.
– Miami has now recorded more 18-assist outings in two games in 2020-21 (two) than it did in all of 2019-20 (one).
– The last time the Hurricanes had 18-plus assists in consecutive games was the first three games of the 2009-10 season, when they did so against NC Central (19 on 11/14/09), Nova Southeastern (26 on 11/16/09) and Tulane (19 on 11/19/09).
– Miami last finished with a rebounding margin of at least plus-20 on 12/22/15 at La Salle, when it had a 51-24 edge.
– Wong’s streak of 32 consecutive made free throws, which dated back to his second attempt on 2/12/20 against Boston College, came to an end with his third attempt of the night.
– The lone prior double-double for Wong came on 2/19/20 in a triple-overtime affair at Virginia Tech when he had 27 points and an equal 12 rebounds.
– Wong, who moved past 100 rebounds at Miami, registered his 12th double-figure scoring performance as a collegian, including his second this season, as well his second double-figure rebounding total, including his first of the year.
– For the fourth time in his career, Lykes recorded 20-plus points and five-plus assists, doing so for the first time since 1/19/19 against No. 13/15 North Carolina.
– Lykes notched the 66th double-digit point total of his career (second of 2020-21), the 17th 20-point showing of his career (first of 2020-21) and the 17th five-assist outing of his career (second of 2020-21).
– Lykes eclipsed 1,250 points, 250 assists and 250 made free throws as a Hurricane, as well as reached 100 steals.
– Up to 1,256 points in his career, Lykes passed Dwayne Collins for No. 22 on Miami’s all-time scoring list.
– McGusty, who surpassed 2,250 minutes played and 350 made field goals as a collegian, tallied the 51st double-digit scoring total of his career and second of the year.
– Beverly notched his fifth five-assist performance, including his first of the season.
– Redshirt senior center Rodney Miller Jr., reached 250 points at Miami.