CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP)—Miami handled its first game as a ranked team in five years just fine.
Brian Asbury scored 18 points and the Hurricanes, who moved into the Top 25 earlier in the day, beat Stetson 89-53 on Monday night.
“Before the game, I told the guys, the bull’s-eye is on their chest now,” fourth-year Miami coach Frank Haith said. “We talked about not slopping the game up.”
Raymond Hicks had 15 points and James Dews added 14 for the Hurricanes (10-0), who opened the game with a 19-4 run. Asbury had nine points in the 6 1/2 -minute burst.
Eric Diaz had 13 points for the Hatters (2-8), who lost their fourth straight game and ninth in their last 10.
Miami, which had five players score in double figures, was ranked for the final 12 weeks of the 2001-02 season, reaching as high as No. 12.
“It’s a great achievement,” Asbury said. “But like Coach said, we have a lot of basketball left and the bull’s-eye is definitely on our chests.”
The Hurricanes are enjoying their best unbeaten streak to start a season since winning 14 straight in 2001-02.
Lance Hurdle’s short jumper 7:27 into the second half capped a 17-10 run and gave the Hurricanes a 62-35 lead.
Dews’ fourth 3-pointer with 9:48 remaining in the game increased Miami’s lead to 69-42.
“Each and every one of us can bring something to the table,” Hicks said. “We depend on each other and have confidence we can do the job.”
The Hurricanes enjoyed their first 30-point lead at 74-42 on Asbury’s 3-pointer with 8:39 left.
“We’re growing and getting more confidence each time out,” Haith said. “But we haven’t peaked yet.”
The Hurricanes took advantage of a strong start and wore down the Hatters.
Dews’ field goal with 11:13 remaining in the first half put Miami ahead 23-6.
The Hatters were held without a field goal for a 5:51 stretch until A.J. Smith’s 3-pointer with 10:34 remaining cut Miami’s lead to 23-9.
The 3-pointer helped Stetson to its best stretch of the game, when the Hatters outscored Miami 8-1 in a 2:53 span and reduced the Hurricanes’ lead to 24-14 after Diaz’s 3-pointer with 7:41 left in the first half.
But the Hatters never managed to get within single digits.
Dwayne Collins’ basket gave the Hurricanes their first 20-point lead, 36-15 with 4:46 remaining in the half.
The loss was Stetson’s second against an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent this season. The Hatters lost 72-59 at Florida State on Nov. 30.