Miami 69, Tennessee Tech 58
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP)
Durand Scott scored 15 points, Malcolm Grant added 14 and Miami rallied from a nine-point deficit midway through the second half to beat Tennessee Tech 69-58 on Friday night in Jim Larranaga's debut coaching the Hurricanes.
Trey McKinney Jones scored 12 for Miami (1-0), including a 3-pointer that sealed the win with 36 seconds left. Erik Swoope added 11 for the Hurricanes, who started the game on a 10-0 run and ended it with a 33-13 spurt.
Larranaga was hired by Miami after a long run at George Mason, best remembered by a trip to the Final Four in 2006. He took over for Frank Haith in April, talking about it felt like a homecoming because he has siblings living in Florida, where he spent some of his youth, and that his grandfather was from Cuba.
His debut started perfectly. Grant's 3-pointer with 16:39 left gave Miami a 10-0 lead, while Tennessee Tech missed its first six shots.
When Swansey got hot, everything changed in a hurry.
The former Georgia guard who hit five game-winning shots for the Golden Eagles last season finally got his team on the scoreboard 6:02 into the game. From there, the rest of the half was all Tennessee Tech, which outscored the Hurricanes by 15 points in a 14-minute span to take a 32-27 lead into halftime.
Swansey gave Tennessee Tech the lead with a 3-pointer with 1:33 left until intermission. And at the break, the purple-and-gold clad team skipped through the tunnel leading to their locker room simply teeming with confidence.
Chase Dunn made a 3-pointer and a layup in the span of about a minute, giving the Golden Eagles a 45-36 lead midway through the second half and sending Miami's building - which, in fairness, was mostly empty anyway - into stunned silence.
It's not like the Golden Eagles were supposed to be some cupcake. They won 20 games last season, returned their top three scorers from a year ago and have the Ohio Valley Conference's preseason player of the year in Murphy.
So Miami found itself in an already familiar position, needing a second-half rally. It happened in the Hurricanes' exhibition game against Florida Southern, when they trailed by 10 with 11 minutes remaining before closing the game on a 34-14 run.
And this rally was much the same - with the Hurricanes outscoring the opponent by 20 points down the stretch once again.
Rion Brown's 3-pointer with 4:26 left gave Miami its first lead of the second half, 55-54. McKinney Jones hit another 3-pointer 48 seconds later, the lead was up to four and the Hurricanes were finally back in some sort of rhythm.
The Hurricanes were without DeQuan Jones, who the school said will not play this season while an investigation into his association with former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro - who claimed he secured Jones' signing by paying $10,000 - continues. Jones will continue practicing with the team with hopes of playing again next season.