CORAL GABLES (AP) — Sheldon McClellan scored 18 points to lead Miami to an 86-59 win over Texas Rio Grande Valley in the season-opener for both teams Friday night.
The Hurricanes overcame sub-par first half shooting with a 14-4 spurt in the first 4:09 of the second half. Ivan Cruz Uceda’s 3-pointer 19 seconds into the second half gave Miami its first double-digit lead at 31-20.
James Palmer’s 3-pointer with 15:51 remaining closed the early second half surge and increased Miami’s lead to 42-24.
The Vaqueros got no closer than 51-41 after Shaquille Hines’ 3-pointer with 11:15 remaining. Hines scored 18 points for TRGV.
Palmer’s 3-pointer with 5:51 left gave the Hurricanes their first 20-point lead at 71:49.
Cruz Uceda finished with 16 points and shot 4-of-7 from behind the arc. Davon Reed scored 14 points for Miami. Palmer and Jaquan Newton also finished in double-figure scoring for Miami with 11 points each.
The Hurricanes shot 1-of-12 from 3-point range in the first half but converted three of their first four shots from behind the arc in the second half.
Miami outscored the TRGV 13-7 in the last 8:01 of the first half. Newton’s two free throws with 1:25 remaining closed the first half scoring and gave the Hurricanes a 28-20 lead at intermission.
Both teams struggled offensively in the first half. UTRVG shot 29.6 percent from the field and Miami fared even lower at 27.6 percent.
Miami suspended transfer forward Kamari Murphy for the first three games of the season for a violation of team rules. Murphy, who played his first two seasons at Oklahoma State, sat out 2014-15 because of transfer rule requirements.
Miami: McLellan is one of 20 pre-season candidates for the 2016 Jerry West Award, recognizing the nation’s top shooting guard. McLellan averaged 14.5 points per game last season.
UTRGV: Vaqueros coach Dan Hipsher has multiple Florida stops on his lengthy coaching resume. Hipsher was an assistant at Miami-Dade Community College (1978-80), Stetson (1993-95) and South Florida (2007-09).
(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)