CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Led by a standout effort from Dwayne Collins, the University of Miami used a fast start in the second half to put away a game Penn squad, 88-62, at the BankUnited Center Wednesday night.
This was Penn’s third game against an Atlantic Coast Conference team this season, and the Quakers lost all three of them. As a result, the Quakers are now an even 36-36 all-time against the teams that currently make up the ACC.
One of the top stories nationally to this point, Miami (13-1) began the season with 12-straight wins and was ranked in the top 25 nationally last week. However, Wednesday night was the Hurricanes’ first game since their first loss of the season, which happened Saturday and knocked them out of the polls. That certainly did not help the cause for Penn (4-9), which bore the brunt of Miami’s frustration.
On top of that, for the second-straight game the Quakers played without reserves Michael Kach, Harrison Gaines and Brennan Votel.
Coming off a first half in which they scored just six points at Florida Gulf Coast in their previous game, Penn played solid basketball in the opening stanza against the Hurricanes and were down just 38-28 at the break. Cameron Lewis, in particular, was a revelation he got the start at center for the Quakers, and made good on head coach Glen Miller’s hunch by scoring nine points and adding three rebounds and two blocked shots in the stanza.
However, Collins was simply dominant inside to start the second half, scoring the first seven points. Jack McClinton and Brian Asbury followed that up with two apiece, and before two minutes had passed in the stanza Penn’s deficit had more than doubled, to 21 points (49-28). That was pretty much the end of any drama Penn got no closer than 18, while Miami was able to extend its advantage to 30 points with 7:32 still to play and led by as many as 33 at one point.
Collins finished the night with 18 points, shooting 7-of-10 from the field, and added 12 rebounds for a double-double. He also had two blocked shots and three steals in 25 minutes. Asbury led the Canes with 22 points and also had four assists and four steals, while McClinton recorded 12 points, three assists and three steals.
For Penn, Lewis was the only Quaker to reach double figures in the scoring column, with a career-high 13 points. He also had six rebounds and four blocked shots in 23 minutes. Freshman Tyler Bernardini had nine points, while classmate Conor Turley added eight (all in the second half). A nice performance also was turned in by junior Kevin Egee, who scored five points but led the Quakers with seven rebounds, five assists (against just one turnover) and two steals.
The Quakers are back home this weekend, hosting New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Saturday night at 7 p.m.