Vasiljevic leads No. 12 Miami to 89-55 victory over Navy
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — With Bruce Brown struggling, D.J. Vasilvejic picked up the offensive slack for Miami.
Vasilvejic scored 16 points to lead five players in double figures as the No. 12 Hurricanes beat Navy 89-55 on Sunday.
The sophomore guard shook off a sub-par shooting performance in Friday’s opener against Gardner Webb when he missed 10 of his 12 attempts in the opener. He made half of his 10 shots on Sunday.
“I approached it the same way I did Friday,” Vasiljevic said. “My routine doesn’t change. I missed a few shots on Friday that I should have made. I stayed afterwards and this morning, went through the routine. The shots dropped today.”
Vasiljevic’s performance helped offset Brown’s limited scoring output. Brown, projected to enter the NBA draft after the season, finished with three points on 1-of-10 shooting. Brown averaged 11 points per game as a freshman.
“He missed some shots but he’s such a good player,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “For him to go 1-for-10, 0-for-3 (3-pointers) is so uncharacteristic. He just missed some shots right at the rim. Some nights you miss.”
The Hurricanes (2-0) never trailed and opened the game with a 9-0 run in the first 4:27. Ja’Quan Newton’s two layups and Vasiljevic’s 3-pointer keyed Miami’s early surge.
“I was proud of how hard we played all 48 minutes,” Larranaga said. “Our defense was very good but our effort was outstanding.”
Newton finished with 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Dewan Huell had his first career double 14 points and 10 rebounds for Miami.
“The first of many,” Huell said.
The Hurricanes wore down the Midshipmen (1-1) in transition. Miami scored 29 points on fast break opportunities.
“They have really good speed,” Navy coach Ed DeChellis said. “They get really get down the floor. It takes them three steps; it takes us five or six steps to get to the same spot.”
Hasan Abdullah scored 13 points to lead Navy. The Midshipmen split their two season-opening games against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents after their win over Pittsburgh Friday night.
Larranaga said red-shirt forward Sam Waardenburg, who has missed the first two games because of an undisclosed injury, should make his debut against Florida A&M Thursday. Waardenburg, a 6-foot-10 forward from New Zealand, sat out the 2016-17 season.
NO BLAME ON TURNAROUND FATIGUE:
DeChellis didn’t attribute the team’s late Friday game against Pittsburgh in Annapolis as a factor in Sunday’s performance. The Midshipmen arrived in Miami Saturday afternoon and had a shoot-around session at the Watsco Center shortly thereafter.
“Tough turnaround but there’s no excuse,” DeChellis said. “We didn’t handle the ball we didn’t do the things we needed to do to be successful.”
Miami had five double figure scorers for the second game in a row. In addition to Vasilvejic, Newton and Huell, Ebuka Izundu scored 12 and Anthony Lawrence finished with 10 points. The Hurricanes only had three games last season in which five players scored in double figures.
“For us to have five guys in doubles and (Brown) not be one of them it says we’ve got good balance,” Larranaga said.
The Hurricanes conclude their season-starting three game homestand against Florida A&M on Thursday.
The Midshipmen play their second of a four-game road trip through different states Wednesday at Penn.