Miami Hurricanes Basketball Hosts Columbia in Last Non-Conference Tuneup

In the last non-conference game of the season, the Miami Hurricanes will host Columbia at the Watsco Center on Wednesday Night.

The Hurricanes and Lions have a 7pm tip-off time. That’s two and half hours after the football team kicks off in Orlando against West Virginia in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

Miami enters the game on a five game winning streak. They most recently defeated George Washington 72-64 on Thursday night at the Watsco. The Hurricanes overcame a big comeback by the Colonials. Miami raced to a 32-10 first half lead before GW cut the lead to four. The Hurricanes extended the lead to 38-30 at halftime.

George Washington came out firing in the second half. They went on a 10-2 run to open the second 20 minutes and tie the game at 40. Miami never allowed the Colonials to take the lead. Davon Reed and Bruce Brown combined to hit eight consecutive free throws in the final 41 seconds to seal the victory.

Reed led four Miami players in double figures with 17. Brown and Ja’Quan Newton had 14 each and Ebuka Izundu had one of his best games of the season with 12 points and four rebounds.

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Game Information:

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 28, 2016 TIME 7 p.m. LOCATION Watsco Center | Coral Gables, Fla

MIAMI HURRICANES (9-2)

Head Coach: Jim Larrañaga  Record at Miami: 127-59, sixth season ACC Record at Miami: 54-34 Career Record: 597-393, 33rd season

COLUMBIA LIONS (4-5)

Head Coach: Jim Engles Record at Columbia: 4-5, first season Career Record:115-144, eighth season

BROADCAST Information:

Television: ACC Network Extra – Ted Sarandis, Mike Jarvis II

Radio: 940 WINZ – Kevin Rogers Online:

SERIES

All-time:

Miami leads 2-1, Home: 2-1 Last matchup: Nov. 21, 2000. Miami won, 65-41.

POLLS Miami AP: RV USA Today: RV KenPom: 28 Columbia AP: NR USA Today: NR KenPom: 238

Columbia travels to South Florida with a 4-5 record. They have wins over Stony Brook, Quinnipiac, Colgate and Manhattanville College. Two of their higher profile losses were to St. Joseph’s and Seton Hall.

Stony Brook is just 4-7 this year, but it was a good win for Columbia over a team that advanced to its first NCAA Tournament in 2016. The Lions crushed Manhattanville 84-42 in their last game. That ended a three game losing streak.

The blowout win gave coach Jim Engles a chance to give reserves significant minutes. Thirteen players played at least ten minutes against Manhattanville. Only three Lions reached double figures in points. They were led by reserve Connor Voss who scored 14 points in only 13 minutes. Starter Luke Petrasek had 13 and Jeff Coby contributed ten off the bench.

This should be an easy tuneup game for the Hurricanes. The Lions ranked lower than 300 in 13 categories both offensively and defensively. They will pose a challenge for the Hurricanes nationally recognized defense.

The Lions rank 69th in field goal percentage, 75th in three-point percentage and 142nd in scoring nationally Nate Hickman is the team’s leading scorer at 15.7 points per game. He shoots 46.9 percent from the floor and 41.5 percent on three-point attempts.

Petrasek has also had a good season. He is averaging 13.7 PPG, leads the team with seven rebounds per game and shoots 49.5 percent from the floor and makes 44.8 percent of his three point attempts. At 6’10 his range will cause match up problems for Dewan Huell, Izundu and possibly Rodney Miller.

Huell is going to need to utilize his athleticism on Petrasek. The Lions can spread the floor and put five players out there that can shoot the three. Six players have a minimum of ten three point attempts. The worst of that group shoots 34.5 percent from beyond the arc.

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