CORAL GABLES (AP) — Balanced scoring has helped Miami open the season with two dominant wins.
Davon Reed scored 19 points to lead the Hurricanes to a 93-77 victory over Louisiana Lafayette Monday night.
The Hurricanes (2-0) were never threatened after they stretched a 1-pont lead and outscored the Ragin’ Cajuns 15-4 during a 5:17 span midway through the first half. Ivan Cruz Uceda’s 3-pointer and mid-range jumper keyed the run. Anthony Lawrence’s layup with 9:23 remaining the ended the spurt and gave Miami a 27-15 lead.
Reed shot 6 of 8 from the field, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range and was one of six Miami players who scored in double figures. The Hurricanes had five double-figure scorers in their season-opening win over Texas Rio Grande Valley Friday.
“We feed off each other; we see everybody else,” Reed said. “Nobody is afraid to make the extra pass. Sometimes we pass up a good 3 for an even better 3.”
Angel Rodriguez finished with 18 points and Sheldon McClellan scored 16 for the Hurricanes. Cruz Uceda, who finished with 13 points, converted on 3 of 5 from behind the arc. Lawrence and Ja’Quan Newton scored 12 and 11 points, respectively.
“The thing about this team is we truly play for one another,” Rodriguez said. “That’s something that’s going to make me happy.”
Lawrence’s 3-pointer from the top of the key with 3:31 left in the first half increased Miami’s lead to 41-21.
“I’m kind of counting that our balance will make us harder to guard,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “If we can keep up the defensive effort for 40 minutes, that’s going to be a major key.”
Reed’s 3-pointer 4:37 into the second half gave the Hurricanes their second 20-point advantage at 56-36.
The Ragin’ Cajuns reduced an 18-point deficit with six straight points late in the second. Shawn Long’s free throw with 6:08 got Louisiana Lafayette within 78-66.
Miami responded with five unanswered points on Reed’s dunk and three free throws from Lawrence in the next 1:45.
Long finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds.
“We just couldn’t get an opportunity to get back in,” Louisiana Lafayette coach Bob Marlin said. “When we needed a big stop and it seemed we got a little bit of momentum, they scored a couple of baskets and we couldn’t’ get a stop.”
Miami: Forward Kamari Murphy sat out the second game of his three-game suspension. Murphy, a transfer from Oklahoma State, was suspended before the season opener Friday because of a violation of team rules.
Louisiana: The Ragin’ Cajuns are 0-13 in their first game of each season dating to 2003-04. Louisiana Lafayette’s last successful first road test was a 79-76 win at Mississippi State on Nov. 23, 2002.
Miami will play its next three games in Puerto Rico, where the Hurricanes will compete in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The trip will be special for Angel Rodriguez, a native of Puerto Rico. Rodriguez has not returned to the island since he left to play high school basketball in Miami seven years ago.
“My family and friends are excited,” Rodriguez said. “I’m very excited I’m going to play with this group of guys against very good competition early in the year.”
MOVING UP ON THE RECORD BOOKS:
Shawn Long’s 12 rebounds surpassed Marcus Stokes for second place on the Ragin’ Cajuns’ all-time rebounding list. Long has 1,053 rebounds and needs 11 to overtake Roy Ebron’s school best of 1,064.
Miami will play Mississippi State in Puerto Rico on Thursday.
Louisiana Lafayette visits Alabama on Friday.
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