The Hurricanes pulled away in over the final eight minutes to win at UMass Saturday, 75-62. The Canes trailed with under nine minutes remaining, 52-51, before a 13-3 UM run gave the Canes a 64-55 lead with just over five minutes remaining.
Miami held on from there without the Minutemen making a serious push.
"I thought our defense was very solid throughout the game," coach Jim Larranaga said. "They are a very athletic team and they are very capable of making a lot of threes. I thought our three point shooting defense was very solid today. We played very well down the stretch by making some free throws, taking it to the basket and it was just a great team effort."
Miami hit on 48.1 percent of its shots (six of 15 threes) while UMass shot just 28.6 percent (seven of 32 threes).
Reggie Johnson led the way for the Canes with 19 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks. Durand Scott had 15 points and four assists; Shane Larkin added 14 points.
"Reggie is a big fellow," Larranaga said. "With some teams it's hard to get the ball to him because they crowd the lane, but UMass' style is to stretch it out and pressure you, so it opens up more for him. I thought they did a good job on him, but he did a great job of being consistent and working."
Larranaga added that "(Johnson) shot his free throws very well (making seven of eight). When you are big guy, you are going to get fouled and you see in the NBA, a lot of those big guys cannot make foul shots. It's nice when you have a big guy who can."
Miami is now 5-1; UMass falls to 3-3.
Starters for the Canes: Shane Larkin, Durand Scott, Trey McKinney Jones, Kenny Kadji and Reggie Johnson. This is the second-straight game Coach Jim Larranaga has used this lineup.
Miami has won four-straight games after starting the season 1-1.
With 19 points and 13 rebounds, Reggie Johnson notched his 17th-career double-double. He has three in five games this year.
Johnson recorded 6 blocked shots against UMass, setting a new career high. His previous career high was five, which he had accomplished twice, the last time vs. FAU last year, in his return from his knee injury.
Johnson pulled down 13 rebounds, marking the fifth game this season he's had nine or more boards.
Shane Larkin scored 14 points for the Canes, marking his sixth-straight game in double digits.
Miami outscored UMass 32 to 18 in the paint.
The Canes shot 73.1% percent (19-of-26) at the line, hitting better than 70 percent in three-straight games.
Kenny Kadji scored eight of his 13 points in the second half, after only posting five points in the first frame. Kadji lost his grandfather last night, and Larranaga said that "I didn't even think he was going to be able to play today. Down the stretch, he stepped up big time for us."