Miami Routs Stephen F. Austin, 96-58

Miami Routs Stephen F. Austin, 96-58

Aaron Brecheisen
CORAL GABLES, FLA. – The Miami Hurricanes (2-0) remain undefeated after a dismantling of the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (2-1), 96-58, on Tuesday at the Watsco Center. The Canes had five players score in double figures for the second straight game.

Miami dominated Stephen F. Austin from the opening tip, as it never trailed in the game. Senior center Ebuka Izundu had a career night, finishing with 22 points, 18 rebounds (11 offensive), three steals and four blocks. He was a force all game long, notching his second career double-double by halftime. Sophomore point guard Chris Lykes continued to put on a show for the home fans with 20 points, six assists, three steals and only one turnover, including multiple highlight plays that should be on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays tonight. Lykes has scored 20 or more points in each Miami’s first two games (scored 22 points against Lehigh).

The Hurricanes came out focused in the first half with their guard play setting the tone. The Lumberjacks led the nation last season in steals and turnovers forced. Miami didn’t commit a turnover the entire first half. It’s three main ball-handlers (Lykes, Anthony Lawrence II and Zach Johnson) combined for 30 points, 10 assists and zero turnovers in the first 20 minutes of play. Miami was able to take a 53-32 lead into half behind 56-percent shooting from the field, 40-percent from the three-point line, and converting all nine of the Stephen F. Austin’s first half turnovers into 18 points. Miami’s 53 points in the half is its most points in any half dating back to a 55-point second half at Virginia Tech on March 10, 2016.

Stephen F. Austin entered the season the preseason favorite to win the Southland Conference, something they have done four of the last five seasons. Despite returning its top-two leading scorers from last year, the Lumberjacks had meaningful injuries in the offseason. Both of their point guards, juniors Aaron Augustin and John Comeaux, are out until at least conference play and their best interior player, senior forward T.J. Holyfield, has been ruled out for the season. The Lumberjacks looked completely overmatched against the Hurricanes tonight on the road.

Miami has now outscored its opponents, 179-120, an average of 29.5 points per game. Lawrence II was extremely efficient from the field, shooting 8-for-12 and 18 points. Graduate transfer Zach Johnson looked much more comfortable in the offense, finishing with 15 points and four assists. Dejan Vasiljevic had 17 points tonight and has hit four three-pointers in each of the first two games.

The Hurricanes will play Bethune-Cookman (1-2) on Saturday at the Watsco Center. Tip-off will be at 2 p.m. and will be broadcasted live on ACC Network Extra.

Comments (3)

It’s early and we haven’t played anybody, but the chemistry on this team is glaring. There will be moments of struggle this year, but this team is going to be surprisingly fun.
When was the last time the Canes scored 53 or more in the first half of a home game?
Looking forward to seeing Dewan H. Back on the court.