Miami men’s basketball opened up its season with a dominant 89-55 win in an exhibition game against Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) on Sunday afternoon at the Watsco Center.
Miami played a great game all around the board, outnumbering IUP in assists, blocks, steals and defensive rebounds.
Miami shared the ball well, racking up 18 assists and having five players score in double figures.
Fourth-year junior guard Isaiah Wong and fifth-year senior forward Jordan Miller led all players in scoring, each with 19 points. Both players shot the ball exceptionally well, with Wong shooting 6-for-10 from the field and Miller shooting 8-for-10. Miller also had seven rebounds.
Sophomore guard Wooga Poplar, third-year sophomore guard Nijel Pack and third-year sophomore forward Norchad Omier each had solid games of their own. Poplar scored 15 points, while Pack had 11 and Omier had 10.
“I think we’ve got five, six, seven guys who can really put the ball in the basket,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “So, it gives me confidence that if we can defend and rebound, that gives us a chance to be in good position at the end.”
This was Pack’s first game with Miami, as he transferred from Kansas State, and he instantly displayed his ability to score and pass the ball. He was able to get by his defender effectively and make some crafty finishes around the rim..
It was also Omier’s first game with the ‘Canes. The Arkansas State transfer’s blend of size and athleticism was a problem for the Crimson Hawks. He also showcased his offense with multiple powerful dunks and impressive finishes at the rim.
“I thought the guys did a great job. They executed the game plan exactly the way we would’ve liked. We got off to a great start, we were ahead 13-zip,” Larrañaga said. “When you’re able to get out in front, everybody tends to relax a little bit and feel confident. I was very, very pleased with the overall effort from start to finish.”
Miami controlled the game from the jump and never let up. They had a 42-29 lead at halftime and continued their offensive attack by racking up 47 second-half points.
As a team, the Hurricanes shot the ball very well. They shot 54.4% from the field and made seven shots from beyond the 3-point line.
Defensively they also played very well with 10 blocks, 12 steals and forced IUP to have 17 turnovers.