Miami takes care of Charlotte to win Charleston Classic
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- Sheldon McClellan had 19 points and Manu Lecomte 15 as Miami defeated Charlotte 77-58 Sunday night to win its second Charleston Classic championship.
The Hurricanes (5-0) took this title in 2009, winning three games by an average of 14 points. It was an even more dominant run this time, topping Drexel 66-46 then Akron 79-51 before the cruising past the 49ers (3-1).
Miami took control with a 31-12 run that started in the last four minutes of the opening half and stretched well into the second period. McClellan scored nine of his points in the surge where the Hurricanes built a 59-42 lead.
Charlotte had won eight straight in-season tournament games the past three seasons. Its chances of continuing the streak took a hit when leading scorer Braxton Ogbueze hurt his right leg in the first half and did not return.
Mike Thorne Jr. had 19 points to lead Charlotte.
The Hurricanes finished with five players in double figures. Tournament MVP Angel Rodriguez had 13 points, James Palmer had 12 and Tonye Jekiri had 11 points as Miami led by as many as 23 points down the stretch.
McClellan added eight rebounds and three assists.
Miami was looking to keep its stellar play in Charleston going while Charlotte wanted to improve its win streak in regular-season tournaments.
The Hurricanes won both games here to reach the final game in easy fashion, 66-46 over Drexel and 79-51 over Akron. Charlotte has won eight straight in-season tournament games after winning three apiece on the way to winning the Great Alaska Shootout in 2012 and the Puerto Rico Tip-Off crown last season.
The 49ers run to the finals at TD Arena was a bit more grueling. They squandered a 17-point lead only to outlast Penn State in double overtime 106-97 on Thursday night. Against South Carolina on Friday, Charlotte rallied from 12 down to move on with a 65-63 win.
Neither the Hurricanes nor the 49ers could break on top much of the first half until Miami closed the period with a 10-3 run. James Palmer hit both his 3-pointers in the stretch as the Hurricanes moved in front 38-31 at the break.
Do-it-all point guard Rodriguez struggled shooting in the first half, making only one of six shots he tried.
Ogbueze, in his first season after transferring from Florida, was in pain on the floor as trainers came out to tend to his right knee. Ogbueze iced down the injury, but soon was stretching and jogging as if he hoped to return. But trainers put the ice bag back on when the game got out of hand.
Miami: The Hurricanes are almost done with a five-game, nine-day, three-state road trip. Miami played (and defeated) No. 8 Florida last Monday, then came to Charleston for three games before finishing at Charlotte with a second straight game against the 49ers. Its next home game is Friday night with South Alabama.
Charlotte: When the 49ers beat Penn State in double overtime, 106-97, on Thursday, it was the first time they reached the century mark in scoring in six seasons since defeating Youngstown State 100-80 on Dec. 21, 2008.
Miami will play at Charlotte on Tuesday night
Charlotte will play host to Miami on Tuesday night.