CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Halftime intermission provided Dejan Vasiljevic the appropriate period to correct his first half shooting woes.
Vasiljevic overcame a scoreless first half and scored 13 points while Kameron McGusty finished with a game-high 22 points to lead Miami to an 80-52 victory over Quinnipiac Saturday afternoon.
The Hurricanes opened the second half with 10 unanswered points in the first 2:33 for a 39-24 lead. Vasiljevic keyed the spurt with a 3-pointer and layup.
“Twenty minutes are over with, you can’t do anything to change it,” Vasiljevic said of his first half. “You just go out with the mindset, ‘hey next one is going in.’ That’s what I did and they eventually dropped.”
After missing five attempts in the first half, the senior guard shot 4-of-6 from the field and was perfect on two free throw attempts. Vasiljevic also finished with 10 rebounds for his second career double-double.
Chris Lykes scored 12 points and Harlond Beverly 10 for Miami.
The Hurricanes shot 11-of-15 from beyond the arc in the second half that helped build the lopsided advantage.
Beverly’s corner 3-pointer with 10:15 remaining gave the Hurricanes their first 20-point lead at 54-33.
“At halftime I was very concerned we weren’t shooting the ball very well,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “We made a little bit of an adjustment at halftime at both ends of the floor that seemed to work very, very well for us.”
Savion Lewis scored 16 points and Jacob Rigoni finished 13 points for the Bobcats (0-2).
“I thought for stretches of the game, I was really proud of the effort we gave, the togetherness we had,” Quinnipiac coach Baker Dunleavy said. “Then obviously, because of how good they are, how well coached they are, you are not going to be at your best for 40 minutes.”
Deng Gak and Anthony Walker scored two baskets each during an 8-0 run for the Hurricanes’ largest lead of the first half at 23-15 with 6:38 remaining.
Lykes’ running jumper at the buzzer gave Miami a 29-24 advantage at halftime.
YEAR SITTING OUT TESTED MCGUSTY’S PATIENCE:
A transfer from Oklahoma, McGusty patiently waited for his opportunity as he sat out last season to comply with NCAA rules. McGusty made up for lost time with Saturday’s performance as he shot 7-of-11 from the field, including 4-of-6 3-pointers.
“Probably the hardest part is not being able to suit up with the people that you practice with and the guys that you train with,” McGusty said. “It’s very difficult but it does build character. I felt it gives you more motivation going into the next year stepping on that court.”
BOBCATS’ EARLY 3-POINT SHOOTING STRUGGLES:
Quinnipiac finished fifth nationally in 3-point conversions last season but shot 5-of-30 from beyond the arc Saturday and is 11-of-53 through its first two games.
“Probably more of them stopping us from creating situations we would like to shoot our 3s from and then when we got those, we probably missed more than we normally do,” Dunleavy said. “But when a defensive team is really good, they get in your head a little bit, they speed you up. So, even when you’re open, you think somebody’s coming. It’s more of them than us. As we move forward, this won’t be indicative of how we shoot the ball. We have really good shooters.”
Quinnipiac: The Bobcats’ visit to Florida Saturday coincided with their second game against an Athletic Coast Conference opponent. The other Florida stop also was against the Hurricanes in 1999, when they were members of the Big East Conference.
Miami: Matt Cross, a 6-foot-6 forward from Beverly, Mass., signed a letter of intent during the early signing period. Cross is considered among the top 100 players nationally by two recruiting services and will play his senior season at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H. before joining the Hurricanes next season.
Quinnipiac: The Bobcats will play Albany Friday in their home and Metro Atlantic opener.
Miami: The Hurricanes will face Missouri State Thursday in the first round of the Charleston Classic in Charleston, S.C.