CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Miami junior guard Kameron McGusty scored 22 of his career-high 28 points in the second half to lead the Miami Hurricanes to a wire-to-wire 91-60 victory over Coppin State Saturday afternoon at the Watsco Center.
The Hurricanes (8-3) have won four consecutive games against non-conference foes, and next begin a 19-game run in the tough ACC.
DJ Vaslijevic, who entered with the highest 3-point field goal percentage in the ACC, only converted 3-of-11, but finished with 21 points for Miami. Vasiljevic and Sam Waardenburg combined to score 19 points on a game-opening 19-3 lead and Coppin State never recovered. The closest the Eagles (4-9) would come was 21-13 as they dropped their third straight.
The Hurricanes received a rare offensive boost from Waardenburg, who surpassed his season points average in the first half with 8 points on 3-of-3 shooting from the field, maing two from 3-point range. Waardenburg finished with a career-high 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Giir Ring led Coppin State with 13 points, but it wasn’t nearly enough to prevent the Eagles from falling to 2-4 during an eight-game road trip.
Leading 34-20 at halftime, McGusty caught fire, draining three consecutive 3-pointers and scoring 14 of Miami’s points during a 22-6 run to begin the second half. From there, Chris Lykes poured in three 3-pointers and notched 11 of his 16 points during an 11-5 run and a 78-42 lead.
Miami shot 47% from 3-point range (18-of-38) to Coppin State’s 23% (7-of-30). Coppin State is 0-8 when outshot from 3-point territory.
Miami jumped out to a 9-0 lead as Coppin State missed its first nine shots and 14 of its first 15 attempts. The Eagles finally scored 5:27 into the game on Andrew Robinson’s 3-pointer.
Sparked by the 3-point marksmanship of Vasiljevic and Waardenburg, Miami reeled off another 10-0 run and led 19-3 midway through the first half.
Led by Dejuan Clayton, the Eagles went on a mini 7-0 run to slice Miami’s advantage to 21-13. That would be the closest the Eagles would come as McGusty scored six during Miami’s 12-0 spurt to pull away 33-14 for Miami largest lead before ending the half up 34-20.
Miami: The Hurricanes hope to carry their non-conference momentum into ACC play against a young Clemson Tigers squad that lacks size and 3-point accuracy. However, the return of point guard Clyde Trapp and front-court scoring of forward Aamir Simms helped the Tigers (6-5) snap a month-long, four-game slide with a blowout of Jacksonville. The Hurricanes experienced starting lineup has chemistry on both sides of the ball while an injection of youth has provided Miami with depth it didn’t have last season.
Coppin State: Despite the lopsided loss Coppin State is in the midst of a turnaround season mostly due to its emphasis on defensive rebounding and a man-to-man defense that funnels opposing dribbles to the baseline and sidelines which has pressured opponents into turnovers. Miami had 17 turnovers. After St. Mary’s, Coppin State dives into the wide-open MEAC which a chance to surprise.
UP NEXT: The Hurricanes have the next nine days off before they hit the road against Clemson on New Year’s Eve for the first of 19 games against ACC opponents.
Coppin State will play its sixth consecutive road game against non-conference foe, Mount St. Mary’s on Dec. 27. Mount St. Mary’s opened the season 0-9.
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