The University of Miami men’s and women’s basketball teams aced their first tests of the 2015-16 season Wednesday at the BankUnited Center.
The men went on a 26-0 run and cruised to a 91-40 victory over Division II Dowling (New York) College.
Oklahoma State transfer Kamari Murphy showed why the Canes have been so excited about him, with three dunks, 14 points, 11 rebounds and three steals in 22 minutes.
“When you can bring an athlete like Kamari Murphy off the bench? C’mon,’’ said Dowling coach John Mateyko, who played for UM coach Jim Larrañaga 40 years ago at American International College. “He’s going to be a pro. I told our kids we just played an ACC, Top 25 team. For us, it was a great experience. We can tell our recruits we played the U in Miami, but I’m glad they’re not in our league.’’
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Larrañaga started four seniors — Angel Rodriguez, Sheldon McClellan, Tonye Jekiri, Ivan Cruz Uceda — and junior Davon Reed. By the end, even manager-turned-walk-on Mike Robinson was scoring.
McClellan led UM with 18 points. Ja’Quan Newton added 13, and Cruz Uceda had 10.
“Our focus was defense and getting a lot of guys in the rotation to evaluate them,’’ Larrañaga said.
In the first game of the doubleheader, the UM women dominated the glass and beat Nova Southeastern 83-53. Five Canes scored in double figures, led by guard Michelle Woods, who also was the UM leader in rebounds (eight) and assists (four). Adrienne Motley had 12 points, and Keyona Hayes, Jessica Thomas and Erykah Davenport each chipped in 11.
The taller Canes outscored the Sharks 52-12 in the paint.
Wednesday was the debut for the “Double Dutch Duo,” freshmen Laura Cornelius and Emese Hof. Cornelius had seven points, seven rebounds and three assists in 23 minutes. Hof finished with eight points, four rebounds and two blocks.
“They’re going to be phenomenal, so seamless in what they do,’’ UM coach Katie Meier said. “Emese’s presence opened up a lot of attacks for Shelly [Woods], Mot [Motley] and Jessica. Laura, straight up, is just a basketball player. So tough.’’
Hayes, the leading rebounder two years ago, returned after missing last season with an ankle injury and said she was “happy to be back with my sisters.’’
“I have so much respect for Nova, love how they play,’’ Meier said. “So well coached. They chase down every loose ball and make you defend. They neutralized our size with their ball movement in the first half.’’
Meier said she yelled at the team at halftime because they had only a five-rebound advantage. In the second half, UM outrebounded Nova 23-9.
UM opens the regular season Nov. 13 — the men against Texas-Rio Grande Valley, the women against Wright State.