Sophomore point guard Chris Lykes scored 21 points and junior shooting guard Dejan Vasiljevic added 20 points to lead the host Miami Hurricanes to a 78-70 victory over the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats on Saturday afternoon.
Anthony Lawrence added 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds, and Lykes dished out six assists for the Hurricanes.
Miami (3-0) has won 19 straight nonconference home games. Miami is also 6-0 all-time against Bethune-Cookman, but this was the closest game in the series.
Forward Dewan Hernandez, Miami’s leading returning scorer and rebounder, was held out for the third consecutive game as the NCAA reviews his eligibility.
Junior guard Malik Maitland scored a game-high 29 points to lead Bethune-Cookman (2-3). He made 11-of-16 shots from the floor, including 5-of-7 on 3-pointers, and added nine rebounds and three assists. Teammate Cletrell Pope added 18 points and a game-high 10 rebounds off the bench.
But Wildcats forward Shawntrez Davis, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year, was held to two points, making 1-of-6 from the floor.
Another Wildcats starter, Soufiyane Diakite, was held scoreless, missing all three of his shots from the floor. Last season, when the Wildcats won a share of the MEAC regular-season title, Davis and Diakite combined to average 25.2 points.
Bethune-Cookman led by as many as seven points early and settled for a 31-30 halftime lead. Miami closed the half on a 6-0 run as Vasiljevic had five of those points, including a 3-pointer with two seconds left before the break.
In the second half, Miami led by as many as 10 points, but the Wildcats battled back to tie the score 67-67 with 2:38 left on a pair of Maitland free throws.
Lykes responded with two free throws, and a 3-pointer by Lawrence gave Miami a 72-67 lead with 1:40 remaining.
A 3-pointer by Maitland with 1:24 left was answered by 3-pointers from Lykes and Vasiljevic in the final 71 seconds as the Hurricanes held on for the win.
—Field Level Media