Collins shoots Canes past Owls

The University of Miami men's basketball team picked up its fourth straight win tonight as they beat Florida Atlantic University 85-69. The Hurricanes improved to 11-3 while the Owls dropped to 4-11.

Miami wrapped up its non-conference schedule with a victory over the visiting Owls. Coach Frank Haith was pleased with his team's performance in their final game before ACC play.

"We finished non-league play going 11-2," Haith said. "Going into the game, I knew Florida Atlantic would play four guards and spread us out. They're a tough team to match up with. They got loose on us and got some threes."

The Hurricanes entered the locker room at halftime ahead 38 - 33 thanks to a host of contributors. Eight of eleven Miami players scored in the first half led by Jack McClinton's nine points. The senior from Baltimore shot three of 5 from three point range in the first half.

South Florida natives Dwayne Collins and Adrian Thomas each chipped in with 6 points. Collins did his work in the paint with two dunks while Thomas hit three pointers on consecutive possessions.

In the first half, the Owls were led by guards Carderro Nwoji and Shavar Richardson who scored 12 and 10 points respectively.

Miami's two biggest scoring threats, McClinton and Collins, turned their games up to another level in the second half.

The senior guard added 11 second half points to finish with 20 points on 5-12 shooting. McClinton also has five rebounds, the most by any Miami guard on the night.

While McClinton's 20 points were noteworthy, the most impressive player for Miami in this game was Dwayne Collins. After a relatively quiet first half, the big man exploded for 18 second half points on the way to a game-high 24. The best part about his second half surge was that 10 of the 18 came at the free throw line.

"I thought in the second half we did a really good job of getting the ball inside to Dwayne and he finished and made his free throws," Haith said.

Coach Haith was especially pleased with Dwayne's success from the charity stripe. The big man finished the game shooting 12-16 from the free throw line.

"He's a tough match up. When he gets the ball with two feet in the paint, he's tough to guard. People the last two games we're just fouling him and making him go to the line. Today, he stepped up, made his free throws and was very focused. He did a good job with that."

Nwoji and Richardson continued their success in the second half finishing with 20 and 19 points respectively. A third Owl, Paul Graham III, may have been the biggest impact player for FAU scoring 16 points and pulling down 7 rebounds in 37 minutes.

Senior guard Jack McClinton came away impressed with the Owls performance tonight.

"They played very hard," McClinton said. "They've got a great coach and they came out there and played very hard. I think they're really better than their record right now. They played hard and they're a good team."

Miami is in action again on January 10th when they face the Boston College Eagles. Coach Haith feels games like tonight's have prepared his team for the challenge they will face at Chestnut Hill.

"It was a good win for us and now we understand what we've got to do to get ourselves ready to go play Saturday at Boston," Haith said.

Notes

- Coach Haith was pleased with Adrian Thomas' performance tonight and attributed his increased minutes to his ability to defend on the perimeter.

- Jimmy Graham only saw 9 minutes of action tonight. Haith says the big man has not done much lately as he is trying to recover from injury. He hopes to have the Goldsboro, NC native back at full strength when the team travels to BC this weekend.

- Eddie Rios scored a meager 5 points but was able to dish out three assists and avoid any turnovers in 15 minutes of play. It is good to see solid play from Rios especially with Lance Hurdle's recent struggles.


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