Miami stamps out 2nd-half rally from George Washington to stay undefeated
WASHINGTON (AP) — Miami coach Jim Larranaga is staying on the Hurricanes while they keep piling up wins.
Dewan Huell had 15 points and 12 rebounds, and No. 6 Miami used a fast start to beat George Washington 59-50 on Saturday.
One of six remaining unbeaten teams in Division 1 entering the weekend, the Hurricanes (9-0) ripped off 13 of the game’s first 15 points on their way to a 21-point lead. The scrappy Colonials pulled within seven with 13:53 remaining, but the rally fizzled down the stretch.
George Washington (5-6) outrebounded the bigger Hurricanes 44-39, but shot 18.5 percent (5 for 27) from the field in the first half and 30.2 percent overall. Miami ranks second nationally in scoring defense and field goal defense.
“I thought our defense in the first half was really outstanding,” Larranaga said. “I thought in the second half our defense on the first shot was pretty good, but they offensive rebound like crazy.”
Jair Bolden had 13 points and Terry Nolan Jr. scored 10 for the Colonials, who used a 17-3 run overlapping halftime to cut Miami’s lead to 35-28.
Asked about the key to preventing George Washington from getting closer, Huell said: “Not let them get multiple opportunities at the rim or off the offensive glass.”
Seated next to his leading scorer, Larranaga chimed in. “Yeah, they only got 17 (offensive rebounds),” he said.
Arnaldo Toro had 13 rebounds — four offensive — for the Colonials.
“We started the first half a little bit slow,” Toro said. “We were able to pick that up.”
Playing its first game since Dec. 5, Miami shot 41 percent from the field, including a 5-for-21 day from beyond the arc. The Hurricanes made at least half of their field-goal attempts in seven of their first eight games.
Lonnie Walker IV had 13 points for Miami, which is 9-0 for the first time since the 2007-08 team opened the season with 12 consecutive wins.
The matchup wrapped up a home-and-home series. Miami won 72-64 last season.
“I felt great coming into the game, confident — and then you go 5 for 27 in the first half and miss a bunch of open shots,” Colonials coach Maurice Joseph said. “That’s how it’s going to be sometimes, but our guys are starting to realize their potential if we start games the way we talk about starting games.”
Bruce Brown Jr. started for Miami after missing the previous game with a left-hand injury.
“I was surprised he played today,” Larranaga said. “We were told it would be three weeks. Bruce came after a week and said I don’t want to sit out.”
Permission from the team doctors soon followed. The Hurricanes’ third-leading scorer and assist leader had three points on 1-of-6 shooting with three assists.
With a neutral site tournament in Hawaii during Christmas Week and two ACC road games also coming up, Miami will not play at home again until Jan. 7 against Florida State.
Larranaga spent 14 years in the D.C. area as head coach at George Mason and famously led the Patriots to the 2006 Final Four.
The Hurricanes have yet to trail in the second half this season.
The Colonials fell to 0-2 against ranked teams this season.
The Hurricanes venture outside the U.S. mainland for the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii. They open the tournament on Friday against Hawaii, followed by a matchup Saturday against either Davidson or New Mexico State.
George Washington hosts New Hampshire on Friday.
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