Guards Dejan Vasiljevic and Kameron McGusty combined for 44 points and Miami held on for a 74-70 victory over Missouri State on Thursday afternoon in an opening-round game of the Charleston Classic in Charleston, S.C.
Vasilvjevic scored a career-high 25 points and hit two free throws with 1.8 seconds left to seal the win for the Hurricanes (4-1) after the Bears (2-3) cut an 18-point second-half deficit down to two points in the final minute. McGusty scored 12 of his 19 points in the second half.
Forward Gaige Prim led Missouri State with 18 points, 14 in the second half.
Miami went into a shooting slump after more than doubling their eight-point halftime lead to 64-46 near the midpoint of the second half by opening the half 10 of 17 from the field.
But the Bears countered with an 12-0 burst that cut the gap to 64-58 with 6:46 remaining in the game.
Miami stopped the bleeding on McGusty’s layup with 6:18 remaining, but the Bears kept hanging around, ultimately cutting the deficit to 72-70 when Tyrik Dixon made a jumper with two seconds remaining. The Hurricanes were only 1-of-8 shooting over the final four minutes
The Hurricanes pulled away over a 4 minute, 30 second span late in the first half, outscoring the Bears 13-4 in that stretch to assume a double-digit advantage, 34-23, with 1:45 left in the period.
Missouri State got the gap down to 38-30 at the intermission on guard Ford Cooper Jr.’s 3-pointer with 46 seconds left in the period.
Miami was 12 of 25 (48.0 percent) from the field in the first half with Vasiljevic going 5 of 7 for 13 points as the only double-figure scorer for either team in the opening period.The Hurricanes finished 40.9 percent from the field in the game.
Cook led Missouri State with 9 points in the opening 20 minutes as the Bears were 13 of 31 from the floor.
—Field Level Media