Miami tries to avoid upset in clash with South Alabama

Nov 28, 2014 - 4:44 PM Coral Gables, FL ( - The 17th-ranked Miami Hurricanes welcome South Alabama to the BankUnited Center for a non-conference tilt on Friday night.

This marks Miami's first home game since a season-opening victory over Howard in Coral Gables. The Hurricanes are off to a 6-0 start after sweeping the Charleston Classic and earning a 77-74 triumph over Charlotte on Tuesday. Their perfect start to the season also includes a road win at then eighth- ranked Florida on Nov. 17.

South Alabama enters this contest with a 1-2 record in the early going. The Jaguars have fallen to Southern Miss (68-59) and Detroit (66-53) since opening the season with a lopsided win over NAIA school Carroll College. Following this tilt, they will return to Mobile for two games next week.

This bout marks the first-ever meeting between these two teams.

The Jaguars are shooting only 38.7 percent from the floor and averaging 65 points through three games. John Brown leads the way with 12.3 ppg, while Ken Williams (10.3 ppg) and reserve big man Taishaun Johnson (10.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg) are also averaging double figures.

Johnson notched a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds in Saturday's loss to Detroit, but South Alabama was unable to overcome a dreadfully slow start in that contest. The Jaguars shot just 25 percent from the floor and had 13 turnovers with no assists in the first half. In fact, they had only eight points in the first 14 minutes, as the Titans went on to win rather easily.

At the other end of the floor, Miami's offense is averaging 75.3 points per game, and the Hurricanes are shooting an impressive 46 percent as a team from beyond the arc (57-of-124). Sheldon McClellan is the headliner with 16.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while Angel Rodriguez (16.2 ppg, 5.3 apg) and Manu Lecomte (12.8 ppg) have made steady contributions at the offensive end. Down low, Tony Jekiri (7.5 ppg) is pulling down 11.3 boards per game.

McClellan scored a career-high 31 points to go along with 11 rebounds on Tuesday night as the 'Canes beat Charlotte for the second time in three days. Lecomte chipped in with 18 points, followed by Rodriguez with 14 for the Hurricanes, who knocked down 14-of-23 3-point tries. Leading by one point at the half, Miami opened the second stanza by going a perfect 7-of-7 from the field, which included five treys.

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