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Miami rolls past Florida Southern

Nov 16, 2008 - 4:21 AM CORAL GABLES, Florida (Ticker) -- For the second straight season, Miami cruised in its season opener against Florida Southern.

Dwayne Collins had 18 points and a career-high 16 rebounds and Jack McClinton also scored 18 as 16th-ranked Miami dominated Division II Florida Southern, 96-60, on Saturday.

Eddie Rios added 17 points for the Hurricanes (1-0), who are ranked in the preseason poll for just the second time in school history. Miami was also ranked 16th in the preseason poll for the 1964-65 season.

"They came after us really hard in terms of defensive pressure," Miami coach Frank Haith said. "It was good that in the second half we only turned the ball over three times. I thought we were trying to go too fast earlier in the game and because of that it resulted in some turnovers. Our offense wasn't as crisp early on, but our defense was very good early. I thought, all-in-all, that it was a good effort by us."

Miami defeated Florida Southern, 104-61, last season and the smaller Moccasins were overwhelmed once again, getting overpowered inside and being unable to contain the Hurricanes' quick guards.

The Hurricanes took control of the game midway through the first half, using a 19-2 run to open up a 33-12 advantage with 6:10 remaining before the half. Rios made a pair of 3-pointers during the run.

"I've been getting better at practice since I'm playing with a great team," Rios said. "I just felt confident coming into the game. It's a new year, a new season."

Miami held a 43-25 bulge at the break and the Moccasins never threatened during the second half, failing to come closer than 19 points.

It was the 16th straight season-opening win for Miami, which outrebounded Florida Southern, 56-37.

Collins shot 6-of-11 from the field and had five of his 16 rebounds on the offensive end.

"Dwayne (Collins) was phenomenal," Haith said. "I mean, geez, 18 and 16. He played like he's capable of and that's good to see because having Dwayne play like that really helps us because we've got post presence. I thought our guys did a good job of feeding it to him. But he was on the boards and he's very active. When he's live like that, he's a tough matchup."

The Moccasins shot 28 percent (19-of-67) from the floor.

John Thompson scored 10 points to lead Florida Southern.

    --- --- -----
    FLA SOUTHERN 25 35 60
    MIAMI FL (16) 43 53 96 FINAL

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