Changes Spark UM, Win 89-64

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - After seeing three of his starters score only one point against Mississippi State Monday night, Frank Haith made three changes inserting Dwayne Collins, Fabio Nass and Denis Clemente into the starting line up for Anthony Harris, Jimmy Graham and Raymond Hicks.

The changes sparked some fire out of the three demoted players as Miami beat Stetson 89-64 in front of 2,580 fans at the BankUnited Center Saturday afternoon.

Sent to the bench in favor of Fabio Nass, Jimmy Graham had a career-high 13 rebounds after averaging just under four through the first ten games, while Ray Hicks, who was sent to the bench in favor of Dwayne Collins, scored 12 points on a perfect 6 of 6 from the field.

But the spark early came from Clemente who scored 10 of his 13 points in the first half while dishing four of his five assists in the first half.

"Denis got us off to a good start which is what I wanted him to do," UM coach Frank Haith said.

Unlike their past two games where they fell behind early against Lehigh and Mississippi State, the ‘Canes jumped on top of the Mad Hatters early taking a 16-3 lead with 13:47 to play in the first half behind seven points by Clemente and seven points by Brian Asbury who led the ‘Canes with 18 points on 7 of 9 shooting, including 4 of 6 from behind the arc.

"It was a really good win for us. Defensively in the first half, we didn't sustain the level we would have liked. We had some bad execution defensively, but we shot the ball well, we passed the ball well," Haith said.

The closest Stetson would get was nine points when it trimmed Miami's lead to 37-28 with 1:17 to play.

The ‘Canes though wasted no time taking the game over in the second half extended the lead to 57-39 with 11:44 to play on a basket by Hicks, but a huge run down the stretch turned the game into a blowout as the ‘Canes went from yup 59-47 with 10:05 to play to 73-47 with 6:34 left following a three-pointer by Asbury which capped a 14-0 run.

But what proved to be impressive was how the three former starters responded off the bench.

"Jimmy Graham, 13 rebounds. I was pleased with his effort on the boards," Haith said. "I look at what our guys did coming off the bench. I look at Anthony Harris and what Jimmy Graham did I am very pleased with that."

Harris came off the bench to score 11 points on 4 of 9 shooting in 18 minutes.

Hicks also went back to his normal energetic self as he scored 11 of his 12 points in the second half.

"He gives us energy off the bench. We have to have balance with this team. We have to find that balance. Guys understand their role. It's nice to have guys that come off the bench who can score. You want production when you go to that bench," Haith said.

They got that Saturday afternoon as the bench provided 35 points, 22 rebounds and 6 assists.

Even in a night when he semi-struggled from the floor, leading scorer Jack McClinton scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half when Miami pulled away on 5 of 11 shooting. He also had 5 assists.

Miami takes the floor again Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. when it hosts Binghamton.

Miami (7-4) – Nass 2, Asbury 18, Collins 8, Clemente 13, McClinton 13, Harris 11, Gilbert 2, Dews 8, Hicks 12, Copeland 2.

Rudy Rodriguez-Chomat can be reached at rudy@canestime.com

Canes Time Top Stories