Miami beats UH in opener
By STAN LEE
HONOLULU — After a mediocre first half, Miami broke things open early in the second half.
Durand Scott scored 20 points and Julian Gamble added 16 points and 13 rebounds as Miami defeated Hawaii 73-58 in the first round of the Diamond Head Classic on Saturday night.
Shane Larkin had 12 points and Trey McKinney Jones 11 points for the Hurricanes (8-1), who face No. 4 Arizona (10-0) in Sunday’s semifinals. Arizona beat East Tennessee State earlier Saturday.
The Hurricanes broke open a close game with a 14-5 run to start the second half.
Miami scored the first six points of the second half in a two-minute span, forcing Hawaii to a call a timeout, and Rion Brown’s jumper made the score 36-24 with 16:01 remaining. The Hurricanes forced three Hawaii turnovers during the run.
“I thought our defense in particular — Shane Larkin forced a couple of turnovers that led to fast breaks,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “He kind of was a one-man wrecking machine for the first five minutes, and then Durand Scott took off in the next five minutes.”
After Hawaii’s Brandon Jawato hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 36-29, Scott hit four 3-pointers and Gamble converted a three-point play to extend Miami’s lead to 55-37 with 11 minutes left.
“My team got me open and then they trusted me making that shot,” Scott said. “I know I missed a couple in the first half, so my coaches told me just go out there, just hold your follow through and just stroke it, and that’s exactly what I went out there and did.”
Jawato came off the bench to hit four 3-pointers and finished with 12 points for Hawaii (5-4).
“Once they (the Hurricanes) got on that rhythm, they were able to sustain that and got the ball where they wanted,” Hawaii coach Gib Arnold said.
Gamble started the game for injured center Reggie Johnson (thumb) and made sure his team didn’t miss a beat. Gamble dominated inside, capping off his performance with an emphatic dunk with 5:26 remaining that extended Miami’s lead to 69-44.
“I think I just tried to go out there and tried to execute the game plan,” Gamble said. “It’s never about the individual; it’s most of all about the team. It’s a team effort that helps us win the game, so I just tried to go out there and play as hard as I can, rebound some of my teammates’ shots when they missed it and just finish the opportunities when they passed it to me.”
Larranaga said he doesn’t expect Johnson back the rest of the tournament. Also, McKinney Jones spent Friday in the hospital with a 105-degree fever.
The Hurricanes made 17 of 27 shots (63 percent) in the second half after hitting just 10 of 29 (35 percent) in the first.
Shane Larkin’s father, Baseball Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, was among the modest Miami contingent in attendance.
Saturday was the first game appearance for Ben Jay as Hawaii athletic director. Jay, who was formally introduced by the school on Thursday, came to Hawaii after serving as Ohio State’s senior associate athletics director.
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