Miami basketball cruises to win over Georgia

The Miami basketball team finished the first half on a 21-6 run, punctuated that by outscoring Georgia 17-9 to begin the second half and easily defeated the Bulldogs 79-67 at the Baha Mar Bahamas Hoops Championship. Miami will play the winner of Kansas State and Providence on Sunday.

The Miami basketball team had great balance with all five starters continuing to score in double figures. Matthew Cleveland continued his efficient play with 18 points and six rebounds on 8-13 from the floor and 2-5 threes. Georgia surged in front 19-11 about halfway through the first half with a 10-2 run.

Miami outscored Georgia 28-10 in the remainder of the first half. Georgia rallied in the second half to cut the deficit to seven early before Miami put the Bulldogs away. Miami improves to 4-0 with the win and Georgia drops to 2-2 with the loss. The Hurricanes shot 45.0 percent from the floor and made 18 of 19 free throws.

Miami outrebounded Georgia 37-34. Blue Cain led Georgia with 18 points, Noah Thomasson had 14 and Jabri Abdur-Rahim scored 13 as the only Bulldogs in double figures. Njiel Pack had 16 points, five rebounds and three assists, Bensley Joseph and Wooga Poplar each scored 13 and Norchad Omier scored 11.

Miami led by as many as 20 in the second half. A.J. Casey and Christian Watson each scored four points off the bench. Casey gave Miami an important 15 minutes off the bench with Omier in foul trouble. Miami made 20 of its 36 two-point attempts. The Hurricanes struggled for the first time on threes making 7-24.

Miami entered the game versus Georgia 11th nationally making 11.7 three-point attempts per game and fourth shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc. Georgia shot 37 percent from the floor and made just nine of its 31 three-point attempts. Considering the opponent this was Miami’s most complete game of the season.

Kansas State enters the second game in the Baha Mar Bahamas Hoops Championship 3-0 and Providence is 2-1. The Championship game on Sunday will be a reunion for someone on the Miami basketball team. Pack transferred last year from Kansas State and head coach Jim Larranaga played at Providence.