Miami basketball gets good balance in season opening win over Canisius

Nov 9, 2021; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 9, 2021; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami basketball team was able to overcome an off night by star guard Isaiah Wong and used excellent balance to defeat Canisius 77-67 in the 2021-22 season opener on Tuesday night at the Watsco Center. Wong was 3-11 and finished with seven points. Sixth-year senior Kameron McGusty led Miami with 20.

Miami led by as many as 11 in the first half before leading 37-31 at halftime. The Hurricanes held the Golden Griffins without a field goal for 6:40 in the second half during a 17-4 run to extend their lead to 67-50 with 7:23 remaining. Canisius pulled within eight with 58 seconds remaining but that was as close as they got.

Wong was held to single figures for only the 10th time in the last 41 games. Third-year sophomore forward Anthony Walker had 14 points, four rebounds, two assists and three blocks, and new point guard Charlie Moore had 13 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Sixth-year senior forward Sam Waardenburg was a stat sheet stuffer with 10 points, six rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals. Center Rodney Miller, another sixth-year senior came off the bench to score eight points and have six rebounds. It was an encouraging performance in the season opener.

For Miami to score 77 points and have four in double figures with Wong having a rare off game means the Hurricanes will be able to score this season. McGusty, Moore and Wong should give Miami one of the best backcourts in the ACC. Miami shot 48.3 percent from the floor, made 5-17 three-point attempts and 14-22 free throws.

The depth Miami showed with a healthy team is in contrast to the last three seasons that the Hurricanes have had to play with a limited roster. Miami finished the 2020-21 season with six healthy scholarship players. Eight Miami players played at least 12 minutes. McGusty, Moore and Wong all played at least 30 minutes.

Next. Miami picked 12th in ACC, Wong 1st team All-Conference. dark

The Miami basketball team will host Central Florida at 1:00 PM on Saturday. The Knights open their season tomorrow at 4:00 PM at home against Robert Morris. Miami won 79-70 at UCF in the last meeting in 2019. The Hurricanes and Knights have split the last four meetings. Miami leads the all-time series 8-2.