What to Know
- The Knights were their own worst enemy at times, as they committed 17 turnovers and shot only 42 percent (5 of 12) from the free-throw line.
Miami coach Jim Larranaga was quick to note that his team went winless on the road last season. On Tuesday night, his Hurricanes' stingy defense ensured they would only need one try to better last season's road record.
Kameron McGusty scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Harlond Beverly had 15 points, and Miami beat UCF 79-70 at Addition Financial Arena.
The Hurricanes (2-1) pulled away in the early stages of the second half with a 14-2 run over a span of 4:16. Beverly, who scored seven of his team's points during the decisive run, punctuated it with a floater in traffic to give the visitors a 52-41 lead.
"I thought that was a really hard-fought contest. Both teams were very physical with each other," Larranaga said. "Both teams battled. Last season, we did not have a single road win. So, for this team to start out this season in our first road game and play as well as we did, score as well as we did, defend as well as we did, with a number of young guys stepping up and really helping us, it's really a very satisfying victory."
UCF (1-1) never managed to get back within fewer than six points after the Hurricanes' second-half outburst. The Knights were their own worst enemy at times, as they committed 17 turnovers and shot only 42 percent (5 of 12) from the free-throw line.
Those giveaways more than accounted for the final scoring margin, as Miami finished with a 21-10 advantage in points off turnovers.
"Coach has been drilling us on our defense, keeping up the intensity on defense for a whole 40 minutes. I think we were really locked in," McGusty said. "I think our defense was really what put us over the edge."
"Most of the time, they were unforced turnovers," UCF coach Johnny Dawkins said. "It wasn't anything where they were pressing and trapping. So, just too many unforced turnovers, which means we have to value the ball a little more, keep it simpler when we're on the floor."
For UCF, Frank Bertz and Darin Green, Jr. each scored 13 points.