Seven minutes and 37 seconds.
That’s how long it took No. 15 Miami to allow its first basket in a dominant 97-49 win over Long Island University on Wednesday night at the Watsco Center. It was the first time the Hurricanes beat an opponent by 40 points since a 49-point win over Western Carolina in 2016.
Miami opened the game on a 21-0 run and didn’t look back, leading by as much as 49 at one point in the second half.
“We got off to a great start,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “It was 21-0, and the defense was stifling. And then we tried to maintain that. We did a pretty good job throughout the first half. Second half, I had to call a timeout because we weren’t as sharp coming out of halftime, but we regrouped and ended up with a nice 97-49 victory.”
Forward Norchad Omier led the charge with 17 points and 13 rebounds, recording a double-double by halftime. Four of Miami’s starters finished the game in double figures, and freshman Kyshawn George had a season-high 13 points, which included three 3-pointers.
“Obviously I’m happy,” George said of his performance. “Just put in the work every day and try to play my best when I’m on the court.”
Larrañaga complimented George after the game but said he still needs to play faster. After a timeout late in the second half, Larrañaga ran a play that utilized the guard’s speed. The result? George blew by his defender for an easy layup.
In fact, the offense as a whole had no trouble scoring against the Sharks. The ‘Canes shot 53.6% from the field and came out hot, taking a 53-18 lead into halftime.
Turnovers were key to the Hurricanes’ fast start. Miami forced eight of them early on and 16 throughout the game, racing the length of the floor for another basket before the Sharks knew what happened. On one fast break, guard Nijel Pack found Omier for an emphatic alley-oop.
By the second half, Miami’s reserves were playing extended minutes as the Hurricanes continued to increase their lead.
LIU coach Rod Strickland, who spent 17 seasons in the NBA on nine different teams, could only marvel at Miami after the game.
“That’s a great team there … I didn’t think they were going to miss a shot,” Strickland said.
Strickland’s sons, Tai and Terell, had 14 and zero points for the Sharks, respectively. Tai also had a team-high nine rebounds.
After a blowout loss to No. 16 Kentucky last week, the Hurricanes are now on a two-game winning streak, beating Notre Dame for their first ACC win on Saturday. Pack says the Hurricanes are using that loss to the Wildcats as a wake-up call.
“That early loss is good for you, humbles you a little bit,” Pack said. “Really our first away test, especially with that atmosphere. [Kentucky] had a great home atmosphere for us. It woke us up. We figured out some things we need to work on. They showed us the things that we need to focus in on, and you’re able to focus on that and get better.”
Next up, Miami will face Colorado in New York at the NABC Brooklyn Showcase. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday.