Miami Hurricanes Top Rutgers 73-61 in Big Ten-ACC Challenge

Four Miami Hurricanes scored in double figures and a 17-0 second half run led to a 73-61 Miami win over Rutgers in the Big 10-ACC Challenge.

The Hurricanes run began with 17:10 remaining in the second half. Rutgers missed 11 straight shots as they went scoreless for nine minutes. Miami extended a 36-32 lead to 53-32. The Scarlet Knights got no closer then ten points the rest of the game.

Miami was led by Senior Captain Davon Reed who had his best game of the season with 18 points and six rebounds. Reed shot over 50 percent for just the second time this season and the first since a 94-56 Miami win over North Florida the second game of the season.

Reed connected on six of his ten shots from the floor, two of his four three-point attempts, and four of his five free throw attempts. Freshman Dewan Huell who made his first start finished with 14 points and seven rebounds and in 25 minutes. Twelve of Huell’s 14 points came after halftime. Ja’Quan Newton and Bruce Brown each had 11.

Jim Larranga used his third different starting lineup this season. Center Ebuka Izundu and Forward Anthony Lawrence came off the bench and Freshmen Guard Bruce Brown and Center-Forward Huell were in the starting lineup.

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Izundu who has been limited by injury this season had four points, four rebounds and three blocks in 12 minutes. Lawrence finished with eight points and four boards in 25 minutes. Rutgers came into the game fourth nationally in rebounds, but the Hurricanes held a 44-30 advantage on the glass.

The rebounding margin was a big key in Miami’s victory. The guards also were big on the boards, Brown led the Hurricanes with nine rebounds. He spoke about the importance the coaches placed on the glass.

“The emphasis for this game was to rebound the ball,” Brown said. “They were No. 1 in offensive rebounding and Coach [Larrañaga] wanted us to rebound the ball and help the bigs, and push the ball.”

Miami continues to be impressive on the defensive end. They are 14th nationally allowing 59 points per game. The Hurricanes are tied for 23rd nationally, allowing teams to shoot 37.5 percent from the floor.

The Hurricanes did a good job on Rutgers leading scorer Deshawn Freeman. Freeman is averaging 12.6 points per game, 8.3 rebounds and shoots 46.8 percent from the floor. Miami held him to 11 points on four of 12 shooting and four rebounds.

The Hurricanes won their third straight game in the Challenge. They defeated Illinois in 2014 and Nebraska last season. They are now 5-5 in the challenge.

Miami next plays Wofford on Saturday at American Airlines Arena. Their schedule is not too challenging before they open ACC play when they host North Carolina State at the Watsco Center on New Year’s Eve.

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