Rion Brown lead the way with 18 points as Miami overcame a slow start to dispose of Valparaiso 66-50 in the first round of the NIT. Ryan Broekhoff lead the way for Valpo with 18 points but on just 6-15 shooting. Reggie Johnson contributed 9 points 15 rebounds and 4 assists for the ‘Canes, and Shane Larkin continued his strong play with 12 points as well as an outstanding defensive game. Miami looked lethargic at times, building just a 24-23 first half lead. But the second half was all UM, as the ‘Canes used outstanding defense and hot shooting to cruise to the victory.
Player of the Game: Brown. When Rion Brown is at his best, the only way to describe him is “smooth.” Brown busted the Crusaders zone to the tune of 4-7 from downtown. At one point Brown displayed his superior athleticism by saving an offensive rebound to Trey McKinney Jones, who immediately kicked it right back to Brown. Before RB released the ball TMJ back pedaled down court arms raised with out a shadow of doubt the ball was going in. It was the kind of night for Rion Brown.
The Bad News: Durand Scott was re-instated by the NCAA, but must first serve a 6 game suspension. Counting tonight’s game he has served two, so the suspension effectively ends the season of arguably UM’s best player. The silver lining is that Larkin and Brown in particular have raised their games. But with out the NYC native Scott, Miami’s chances to reach the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden are significantly reduced.
What’s Next: Miami will face Minnesota (20-14) at the BUC, TBA. The Golden Gophers upset LaSalle 70-61 in their first round NIT match-up.
|K. Van Wijk||24||3-8||0-0||0-1||3||10||2||0||0||0||3||6|
|Percentages||.358||.185||.778||Team Rebounds: 3|
|T. McKinney Jones||26||4-7||2-4||0-0||0||3||3||0||1||0||2||10|
|Percentages||.491||.455||.667||Team Rebounds: 1|
- Technical Fouls:
- BankUnited Center, Coral Gables, FL
- Doug Sirmons, Wally Rutecki, Forrest Sigler