MBB Tops Fordham, 72-66, in Brooklyn

MBB Tops Fordham, 72-66, in Brooklyn

by Alex Schwartz

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – The University of Miami men’s basketball team picked up its fourth consecutive win by defeating Fordham, 72-66, in the Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational.

Sixth-year redshirt senior guard Charlie Moore scored a game-high 18 points for Miami (8-3, 1-0 ACC), which trailed at the break, but turned in a tremendous defensive performance in the second half to register the win at the Barclays Center.

“I thought the game was played exactly like we envisioned it. Our guys defended the three very well. We knew they would shoot 30-plus threes and they ended up shooting 38,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “…You have to defend those well because they could catch fire and go on a run. Our guys never let them do that.”

After opening 4-of-16 from the floor, Miami made three shots in a row, including back-to-back 3-pointers by Moore to take a five-point lead, 20-15, with 7:24 on the clock. The Hurricanes, though, could not retain their lead for the remainder of the half.

Following a 0-of-9 start from 3-point range in the first 10 minutes, Fordham (7-5) went 4-of-8 the rest of the frame. The Rams hit consecutive shots from deep in the final 45 seconds, including a buzzer beater by junior guard Antonio Daye Jr., to take a 37-35 edge into the locker room.

A pair of Fordham graduate students, guard Darius Quisenberry (12) and forward Chuba Ohams (11), combined for 23 points in the first half, with the latter shooting 5-of-5 from the floor.

After the Rams scored the first basket coming out of the intermission, Miami answered with 16 straight points in just 5:38 to turn a game-high four-point deficit into a then-game-high 12-point lead, 51-39, with 12:58 to play. The Hurricanes held Fordham without a point for 6:43 and, even beyond that stretch, forced 10 consecutive missed shots.

The Hurricanes extended their surge to 20-2 and took a game-best 14-point edge, 55-41, with 11:52 left. The Rams, however, countered with a 12-2 burst of their own to make it 57-53 with 7:53 remaining.

Miami then held Fordham scoreless for 4:16 and went back up by 10, but junior guard Kam’Ron Cunningham hit a pair of 3-pointers to make it a four-point game, 63-59, with 2:08 to go. An old-fashioned three-point play at the other end by sixth-year redshirt senior guard Kameron McGusty 21 seconds later, though, all but iced the eventual six-point win.

“One of the things that they did in the first half is they kept switching ball screens and our guys took advantage,” Larrañaga said. “In the second half, they chose to go under ball screens and, I thought, our guys really read that well, ended up getting good shots and making those shots.”

Moore, who shot 7-of-13 from the field, grabbed a season-high seven rebounds, one shy of his career best, in a season-best 38 minutes of action. He also posted a season-high-tying three steals to pace all players, en route to claiming game MVP honors.

Third-year sophomore guard Isaiah Wong finished with 17 points and a season-best seven rebounds, while McGusty tallied 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Fourth-year junior guard Jordan Miller posted eight points and a season-best nine rebounds, the latter mark co-leading all players, in a season-high 36 minutes.

Ohams, who blocked three shots, led Fordham with 15 points on 6-of-6 shooting, but Miami held him to just one basket—on his lone attempt—in the second half. Daye scored 13 points and Quisenberry added 12, the latter shooting 0-of-8 after the break, including 0-of-7 from deep.

The Hurricanes’ strong defense held Fordham to just a 23-of-60 clip (38.3 percent) from the field, including an 8-of-38 mark (21.1 percent) ledger from deep. Miami, meanwhile, made three more field goals on one fewer attempt and hit just three fewer 3-pointers on 22 fewer tries.

Miami, which won for the second consecutive time when trailing at the break, also posted a 41-32 edge on the glass.

After a week without a game, Miami returns to action Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. against Stetson at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Fla., live on RSN.

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

– The Hurricanes moved to 2-1 all-time against Fordham, including 1-0 at neutral sites and 1-0 in Larrañaga’s tenure.
– Larrañaga, who entered the game with the ninth-most victories of any active Division I coach, is now 678-467 in 38 years as a head coach, including 208-133 in 11 seasons at Miami.
– With 678 victories in his career, Larrañaga passed Mike Montgomery for sole possession of No. 33 on the all-time Division I wins list.
– For the eighth time this season and sixth in a row, Miami used a starting lineup of McGusty, Moore, J. Miller, Wong and sixth-year redshirt senior forward Sam Waardenburg.
– As announced prior to tip-off, sixth-year redshirt senior center Rodney Miller Jr., will miss 3-4 weeks with a left groin injury sustained Wednesday against Lipscomb.
– The Hurricanes moved to 9-10 in NBA arenas during Larrañaga’s 11 years, playing in seven different venues across nine different seasons.
– Miami is now 3-3 all-time at the Barclays Center, including 2-1 in the regular season.
– The Hurricanes improved to 6-1 in Larrañaga’s tenure when playing in games that start before noon, including 2-0 this year.
– Fordham’s 21 second-half 3-point attempts tied for the second-most by a Miami opponent in any frame since it joined in the ACC in 2004-05, trailing only the 22 by Duke in the second half on 2/7/09 in Durham, N.C.
– Seven of the Hurricanes’ 11 turnovers—including all but one of the first eight—were offensive fouls.
– Along with Miller, Moore and Wong, a fourth Hurricane also grabbed a season high in rebounds, as fifth-year redshirt junior Deng Gak posted four.
– Ohams and Quisenberry combined for just four second-half points after registering a combined 23 in the first frame.
– Fordham shot just 29.0 percent (9-of-31) in the second half.
– McGusty, who notched his 75th start as a collegian and eclipsed 1,400 points, tallied double-figure points for the 73rd time, including the 45th as a Hurricane and the 10th in 2021-22.
– Wong, who recorded his 50th start at Miami, scored in double digits for the 43rd time, including the 10th this year.
– Moore, who surpassed 1,350 points in his career and made a season-high seven field goals, logged his 63rd double-digit scoring performance, including his sixth this season.