Hurricanes crush Golden Lions 91-40 in exhibition game

Redshirt junior Kamari Murphy (21) blocks a Dowling defender during Wednesday's game at the Bank United Center. Nick Gangemi // Editor in Chief
Redshirt junior Kamari Murphy (21) blocks a Dowling defender during Wednesday's game at the Bank United Center. Nick Gangemi // Editor in Chief
Redshirt junior Kamari Murphy (21) drives to the basket during Wednesday’s game at the BankUnited Center. Nick Gangemi // Editor-in-Chief

The Miami Hurricanes blew out the Dowling Golden Lions, a Division II opponent, 91-40 on Wednesday evening at the BankUnited Center.

The Canes got off to a strong start after pulling to an 18-3 lead five minutes into the game. The Golden Lions had a single spurt when they were able to score eight unanswered points to cut the Canes’ lead to 18-11. Miami weathered the storm and regained momentum. The Canes ultimately broke open the floodgates and went on an 18-0 run, taking a 49-15 lead into the half.

The swarming Hurricanes’ defense was able to force 12 turnovers in the first half as well as to hold the Golden Lions scoreless in the final four minutes of the half. The Canes’ defense was solid without being too aggressive, as the Golden Lions did not attempt a free throw in the first half.

The Hurricanes’ dominance continued throughout the second half. The scoring remained balanced among both starters and reserves, and the defense remained stout. The Golden Lions were not able to score for the first four minutes of the second half. As the game got out of reach for the Golden Lions, the Canes rested their starters and the reserves played the final seven minutes of the game.

Redshirt senior guard Sheldon McClellan led all scorers with 18 points while redshirt junior forward Kamari Murphy recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench. This was Murphy’s first game with the Canes after transferring from Oklahoma State and sitting out the 2014-15 season. He is expected to be a key player in the Canes’ rotation.

“He adds a lot of energy and a lot of length on defense. He can do a lot on offense, he just brings a lot to the team,” McClellan said about Murphy.

Sophomore guard Ja’Quan Newton added an electrifying 13 points off the bench, including two threes and multiple coast-to-coast fastbreak finishes.

The Hurricanes dominated the Golden Lions in the paint, out-rebounding them 55-29. Senior center Tonye Jekiri led the way with 10 rebounds in only 20 minutes of action.

Miami has three true freshmen on the roster and all of them scored their first career collegiate points on Wednesday night. Freshman Anthony Lawrence Jr. recorded five points and five rebounds in 17 minutes of play.

“I thought Anthony Lawrence Jr. played well. He didn’t shoot well, but he did a lot of things well,” Head Coach Jim Larrañaga said.

The team had balanced playing time, as no single player recorded more than 22 minutes.

“[We] got a lot of guys into the rotation, so I can evaluate them,” Larrañaga said.

The Canes’ first regular season game will be against University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on Nov. 13 at the BankUnited Center.