EditorsNote: update 2: updates second graf to include Friday matchups; fixes style on “La Salle” throughout
Chris Lykes scored 18 points and Dejan Vasiljevic added 15 to lead Miami past La Salle 85-49 in the first round of the Wooden Legacy on Thursday afternoon at Fullerton, Calif.
Zach Johnson scored 12 points, and Sam Waardenburg and Ebuka Izundu added 10 points each for Miami, which advanced to the semifinals of the eight-team tournament. The Hurricanes will face Fresno State, while La Salle will oppose Northwestern on Friday in the consolation bracket.
Izundu had a game-high eight rebounds, and Johnson had a game-high five assists.
The Hurricanes (4-0) won despite not having 6-11 junior forward Dewan Hernandez, a starter who averaged 11.4 points and 6.7 rebounds last season. He has been held out so far this season due to NCAA eligibility concerns.
Lykes and Vasiljevic have taken up the slack, scoring in double figures in all four of Miami’s games this season.
Jared Kimbrough led La Salle with 10 points and Pookie Powell added eight.
However, the Explorers (0-5) have yet to win a game under new coach Ashley Howard, a former Villanova assistant.
In the second half, Howard, apparently by accident, hit Vasiljevic in the back of the neck as he was swinging his right hand to motion his players. Vasiljevic was upset at receiving the forceful blow, and Howard quickly apologized.
Miami, down to just eight scholarship players, also got five points from freshman Anthony Mack, who scored the first points of his Hurricanes career.
La Salle led early at 6-4, but Miami then went on an 18-2 run and dominated the first half, taking a 49-18 lead into the break.
The Hurricanes shot 62.5 percent from the floor in the first half, including 5 of 10 on 3-pointers. Miami also had a 21-11 edge on rebounds and scored 21 points off La Salle turnovers, including a pair of steals turned into dunks by Anthony Lawrence II.
Meanwhile, La Salle shot just 29.6 percent in the first half, including 1 of 11 on 3-pointers.
The game was never close in the second half. Miami cooled off a bit but still shot 54.5 percent from the floor, including 8 of 19 on 3-pointers (42.1 percent). Miami held a 39-29 rebounding edge.
La Salle shot just 35 percent, including 2 of 25 on 3-pointers.
—Field Level Media