CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP)—After a hard-fought loss in the semifinals, No. 22 Miami responded with a dominating victory over San Diego.
Brian Asbury scored 14 points to lead four Miami players in double figures in the 80-45 win Monday night.
“That was just a good old-fashioned rear-end kicking,” San Diego head coach Bill Grier told reporters after the lopsided defeat.
Coming off their first loss to Connecticut, the former No. 17 Hurricanes bounced back quickly to avoid another slide in rank. They claimed third-place of the eight-team tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Canes coach Frank Haith said it was a “really good win” for his experienced squad, which scored 21 points off turnovers, compared to just two points off turnovers for San Diego.
“Defensively, I thought we were outstanding in the second half,” Haith said. “It was good to see production out of a lot of guys.”
Jimmy Graham scored 11 points, and Cyrus McGowan and Lance Hurdle each had 10.
“Like coach says, we’ve got a lot of guys who can score—and tonight showed it,” senior forward Asbury said.
The Canes controlled the boards, outrebounding San Diego 42-28. Besides being the team’s second highest scorer, Graham grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds for the night—which coincided with his birthday.
“It’s a very nice birthday present,” Graham said with a smile after the win.
Offensively, it was a quiet night for Jack McClinton, the top returning scorer from a team that brought back the majority of its offense from last season. He scored his first field goal with 6:28 remaining in the game.
Grier said he was pleased with the way his squad contained McClinton, who averaged 17.7 points last season and scored a season-high 27 points in the loss to the Huskies. He scored just nine points on Monday night, four of them off free throws.
“We did a decent job on him. We just did a poor job on the rest of the team,” Grier said.
The Toreros were led by Chris Lewis with 11 points and Brandon Johnson with 10.