Miami basketball has big start in dominant win over LIU

Dec 6, 2023; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 6, 2023; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Miami Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami basketball team scored the first 21 points of the game, led 53-18 at halftime and cruised to a 97-58 win over LIU on Wednesday night. Miami improved to 7-1 with the win. LIU is 1-7 with the loss. Jim Larranaga was able to extensively use the bench in the dominant win over LIU.

Six Miami basketball players played at least 10 minutes in the first half. Four of the five Miami starters finished in double figures. Bensley Joseph just missed with eight points. Ten Hurricanes played double-figure minutes on Wednesday. Miami dominated the game in every way. Miami played one of its best games defensively.

LIU shot 30.6 percent from the floor, made 3-23 three-point attempts and had 16 turnovers. Miami scored 17 seconds into the game and obviously never trailed. The only somewhat concerning numbers were that Miami had 12 turnovers and only a 30-18 advantage in bench points, which was much closer earlier in the game.

Norchad Omier led Miami with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Omier had a double-double in the first half with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Five Hurricanes finished in double figures. Matthew Cleveland scored 15, Wooga Poplar 14, Nijel Pack and Kyshawn George finished with 13. George finished with his career high.

Other impressive performances for Miami off the bench were freshman Michael Nwoko with six points and four rebounds and sophomores Christian Watson with six points and A.J. Casey with seven rebounds. Miami shot 56.9 percent from the floor made 11-26 three-point attempts and had 19 assists.

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The Miami basketball team plays its last tough non-conference game on Sunday versus Colorado at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, less than a mile from the LIU campus. Tai Strickland and Andre Washington led LIU with 14 and Eric Acker had 13 for the Sharks. Miami will resume ACC play on January 3 versus Clemson.