St. Francis Brooklyn 66, UM men 62 (OT)

Rebuilding Miami Hurricanes fall in season opener to St. Francis Brooklyn

 

Special to the Miami Herald

You can call them the “Not Ready For Prime Time” Canes.

Tipping off at 10 p.m. due to fireworks, boat-burning and other traditional Homecoming activities, the Miami Hurricanes struggled through their season opener Friday night, losing to St. Francis Brooklyn, 66-62, in overtime at the BankUnited Center.

How bad were things for the Canes?

Here’s an indication: Miami went 0 for 15 on three-point tries.

But that was hardly the only problem.

“We had three turnovers in-bounding the ball,” said Canes coach Jim Larrañaga, whose team shot just 31 percent from the field. “And it wasn’t like they were pressuring us.”

SFB finished 12-20 last season and was picked to finish seventh in the lowly Northeast Conference this season, but the Terriers had enough to beat the defending ACC champions, who lost their top six players from last season to pro basketball.

Canes wing Garrius Adams sent the game to overtime with a spin-and-scoop move, knifing between two defenders to score with 2.9 seconds left. That tied the score 56-56.

Miami freshman guard Davon Reed nearly won the game in overtime. With the Canes trailing 64-62, Reed’s three-point try from the left corner went in and out.

SFB (1-0) rebounded and made two free throws to put the game away.

Power forward Donnavan Kirk led the Canes in points (16), rebounds (10) and blocks (2), making 6 of 8 shots, mostly on tip-ins and a couple of post moves.

But he was really the only Miami player who played well.

Adams, a senior who missed last season due to injury, had 15 points but made only 4 of 18 shots.

Rion Brown, expected to be the Canes’ best shooter, had 11 points and made just 3 of 10 shots.

Canes center Tonye Jekiri had nine points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes. He fouled out with four minutes left in regulation after he and other Canes defenders were repeatedly victimized in the post in the second half.

And freshman point guard Manu Lecomte had nine points on 3-of-10 shooting. He nearly won the game in regulation, but his three-point shot from the right corner rimmed out.

“We’re going to have a hard time manufacturing points,” Larrañaga said. “We’re limited.”

Miami shot just 27.6 percent in the first half and trailed 27-26. The Canes missed all five of their three-point tries and also struggled to clean up on the defensive boards.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Larrañaga said.

• Former Canes star James Jones, now a part of the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat, was the ‘Grand Marshall’ of the Canes’ Homecoming.

• This was Miami’s first game against SFB since 1963, when the teams met in an NIT opener at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Miami, which was led at the time by sophomore Rick Barry, won that game, 71-70.

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