CORAL GABLES (AP) — Miami finally didn’t need more than 40 minutes to determine a game’s outcome.
After two season-opening overtime games, the Hurricanes defeated Texas Southern, 84-69, in regulation Thursday night.
Reserve James Kelly scored 17 points to lead Miami (2-1). Donnavan Kirk scored 15 points and Rion Brown finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds and had nine assists for the Hurricanes.
“After two overtime games, it was nice to get out of here early,” Brown said.
The Hurricanes recovered from a 12-0 deficit 5:17 into the game and shot 18-of-28 from the field the rest of the first half. Miami missed its first eight shots.
“I was very concerned down, 12-0,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “But after that first time out, our defense started to play smarter. It made it a little bit more difficult for them. And our offense – we started sharing the ball more.”
Davon Reed hit three 3-pointers to key the Miami comeback. Reed’s third conversion from behind the arc gave the Hurricanes a 30-22 lead with 4:10 remaining. Reed had nine of his 11 points in the first half.
“It was just sharing the ball and doing what we needed to do,” Brown said. “Once we started sharing the ball, everything took care of itself.
“We’re learning how to play together. We’re getting that team chemistry. And we’re learning how to win right now. That’s always fun.”
The Hurricanes had their first double-digit lead, 41-29, on Garrius Adams’ 3-pointer with 1:04 left.
Six Miami players scored in double figures as Manu Lecomte scored 12 points and Adams finished with 10 points.
Aaric Murray scored 16 points and Ray Penn finished with 15 points to lead Texas Southern (2-1).
“We just started to shoot the ball too quick,” Tigers’ coach Mike Davis said of his team squandering the quick lead. “First guy got it, he shot it. We never got to the third or fourth pass.
“And we knew they were due for making shots.
Kelly’s 3-pointer with 24 seconds remaining gave Miami a 44-32 lead at halftime. The Hurricanes finished the first half 8-of-13 from behind the arc and shot 10-of-20 for the game.
“Once one of our players makes a 3-pointer then it becomes easier for the other guys,” Larranaga said. “That gives the guys confidence.”
Miami had its first 20-point lead on Kirk’s tip-in with 12:06 left in the second half for a 63-43 advantage. Kirk’s 3-point play with 9:40 remaining gave the Hurricanes their largest lead at 73-49.
The Tigers took the early lead on four 3-pointers. Penn hit two 3-pointers in Texas Southern’s initial surge.
Miami sophomore center Tonye Jekiri suffered an undisclosed injury to his right knee with 3:56 remaining in the first half. Jekiri, who needed assistance to leave the court, did not return to the game.