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January 5, 2013

Hoops gets win in ACC opener

The Hurricanes' ACC opener at Georgia Tech wound up an easy 62-49 win for UM, which dominated thanks to a stifling defense that held the Yellow Jackets to 32.7 percent shooting for the game.

By comparison the Canes hit on 41.5% of their shots.

Leading Miami was a hot-shooting Rion Brown. He had 22 points while sinking nine of 11 shots (four of six three-pointers).

Brown had made just five of 38 threes entering the game.

"I had really been struggling," Brown said. "My teammates, they kept finding me and told me to keep shooting and finally today the first one dropped. You got to hit that first one; it gives you all the confidence in the world."

The team's only other double-digit scorer was Kenny Kadji, who had 11 points along with a team-high 14 rebounds.

Shane Larkin had five points and six assists, and Julian Gamble finished with seven points and seven rebounds.

Miami also won the rebounding battle, 40-29.

"Kenny Kadji and Julian Gamble are veteran guys who have played against big fellows their whole life - it's kind of the right matchup for us in terms of big guys," coach Jim Larranaga said. "We're better defending big guys than we are smaller, quicker players."

The Canes led at halftime by 10 points and stretched that to 19 with 10 minutes remaining, 52-33. The team's biggest lead was 23, 57-34. That culminated a 17-4 run.

Georgia Tech finished the game on a 10-0 run.


* Miami coach Jim Larranaga earned his 500th career victory with UM's 62-49 win over Georgia Tech at McCamish Pavilion. Larranaga is now 500-350 in 29 seasons as a Division I head coach. Larranaga's 100th win came when Bowling Green defeated Kent State in 1991. His other milestone wins came while at George Mason. His 200th victory was vs. Northeastern in 1997, 300th was vs. East Carolina in 2003 and win No. 400 came against William & Mary in 2008.

* Miami is 10-6 all-time against Georgia Tech, with the series dating back to the 1952-53 campaign. The Canes are 5-2 against the Yellow Jackets at home and 5-4 on the road.

* The Canes are 3-6 in ACC openers since joining the league for the 2004-05 season. UM is 1-5 on the road and 2-1 at home in ACC opening games. Miami has faced Georgia Tech four times in the first ACC game of the year, posting a 3-1 record, 1-1 on the road and 2-0 at home.

* Starters for Miami against Georgia Tech: Shane Larkin, Durand Scott, Trey McKinney Jones, Kenny Kadji and Julian Gamble.

* Rion Brown knocked down four 3-pointers on his way to a career-high 22 points. His previous season high was 10 points vs. Stetson in the season opener against Stetson, the only game this season the junior had knocked down multiple threes in a game. His previous career high was 19 points vs. Maryland in 2011. Brown's four 3-pointers are a season high, his career high is six, against Maryland in 2011.

* Kenny Kadji recorded 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds against the Yellow Jackets for his eighth-career double-double, and fourth of the season. His previous rebound high was 12, which he had twice, most recently against Stetson in the season opener.

* Julian Gamble notched seven points and seven rebounds against Georgia Tech. He has had seven or more rebounds in four of the last five games.

* All eight Canes who played more than seven minutes in the game scored at least two points.

* Georgia Tech entered the game against Miami unbeaten (8-0) in the new McCamish Pavilion. Miami scored 62 points against GT after Tech had held its last four opponents to an average of 47 ppg.

* Miami shot 41.5 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from 3-point range against the Yellow Jackets. Tech's last four opponents had shot 29.4 percent from the floor and 21.1 percent on threes collectively.

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