CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Sophomore Bruce Brown had his second career triple-double and the third in school history to help the No. 13 Miami Hurricanes win their season opener Friday night by beating Gardner-Webb 77-45.
Brown, who is widely expected to turn pro after this season, totaled 10 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in 31 minutes.
Lonnie Walker IV, Miami’s most highly touted recruit under coach Jim Larranaga, came off the bench in his collegiate debut to total 10 points and five assists in 25 minutes.
Miami (1-0) improved to 6-1 in openers under Larranaga. The Hurricanes have their highest ranking to start a season, but it begins under the cloud of the FBI investigation into college basketball, with Larranaga saying he was named in court documents but has done nothing wrong.
Gardner-Webb (0-1) extended its losing streak against ranked teams to 10 games dating to November 2007.
The Hurricanes fell behind 7-0 but took charge by scoring the first 14 points of the second half.
Dewan Huell had 14 points and eight rebounds in 18 minutes. Ebuka Izundu, a 6-10 junior from Nigeria, had 14 points and 10 rebounds in 22 minutes.
Brown’s nifty passes included alley-oop passes to Walker and Huell for baskets. Miami won easily despite shooting only 7 for 26 from 3-point range and 10 for 21 from the free-throw line.
D.J. Laster led Gardner-Webb with 10 points and eight rebounds.
The Hurricanes missed two free throws and a trio of 3-pointers early before Brown scored their first points 4 minutes into the season. That started a 10-0 run, and Miami never trailed again. The score was 27-23 at halftime, and Miami went on a 24-2 run to start the second half.
The Hurricanes struggled against Gardner-Webb’s zone, in part because of poor shooting from the perimeter. Miami made 7 percent from 3-point range in the first half, going 1 for 13, with the only basket by Walker.
Defensively the Hurricanes got their hands on the ball in the lane a lot. Their defense got ranked second in the ACC in scoring defense a year ago, but that end of the court will be the biggest challenge for Larranaga’s young team.
The Hurricanes are at home Sunday against Navy.
Gardner-Webb continues a three-game swing through Florida when it plays No. 8 Florida on Monday.
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