for this game

Miami starts fast in rout of NC A&T

Dec 23, 2007 - 9:44 PM CORAL GABLES, Florida (Ticker) -- Miami wasted little time in moving closer to its best start in school history.

The 22nd-ranked Hurricanes raced out to a commanding lead and got 18 points from Raymond Hicks to post an easy 95-64 victory over North Carolina A&T on Sunday.

The Hurricanes (12-0) are now just two wins away from matching a 14-game unbeaten run to open the 2001-02 season.

"I was very pleased with how we played," Miami coach Frank Haith said. "We came in and weren't distracted. It's tough this time of year. A lot of our guys have plane tickets this evening and they're thinking about going home.

"I'm proud of kids in the way they stayed focus and attacked the ball game."

Brian Asbury scored the first four points of the contest as Miami opened an 18-0 advantage through the first six minutes.

The Aggies (5-7) finally got on the board with a 3-pointer by Steven Rush at the 13:24 mark, and pulled within 19-10 midway through the first half.

But Miami regrouped and scored the next 11 points en route to a taking a 45-25 lead at the break.

"Miami played tremendous today and they jumped out on us," Aggies coach Jerry Eaves said. "We are in a sluggish position during the season right now but Miami created it. They hit big shots and were physical - just like they've been doing all year."

Miami leading scorer Jack McClinton scored 14 of his team-high 17 points in the first half. The junior guard hit three 3-pointers in the contest.

"I think we've improved especially from last year in our second-half performances," McClinton said. "Everyday we're working hard in practice just trying to get better.

"Guys are staying after practice and coming in early. Guys are staying after for extra shooting. So we are really maturing and getting better for when we step onto the court."

The Hurricanes pushed their advantage to 73-43 midway through the second half and North Carolina A&T did not get closer than 29 points the rest of the way.

Hicks made all eight shots from the floor and added added seven rebounds for the Hurricanes.

James Dews sank four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points and Dwayne Collins added 12 points for Miami. Asbury finished with a career-high eight assists.

"I thought our kids played well today," Haith said. "We did a nice job sharing the basketball."

"Another guy I really wanted to focus on is Raymond Hicks - his last three ball games and what he's given us. As he continues to grow, he gives us four solid post-guys, which really helps us."

Austin Ewing scored 14 points and Rush added 13 for the Aggies, who lost their fourth straight game.

It was the third meeting in the last five seasons between the teams. Miami also won the last two, including an 87-62 victory on November 22, 2005.

    --- --- -----
    NC A&T 25 39 64
    MIAMI FL (22) 45 50 95 FINAL

    Dec 23 2:55 PM

    NC A&T 25

    Dec 23 1:52 PM