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Miami meets North Florida, aims to keep riding high


Miami will wrap up its non-conference schedule when it hosts North Florida on Friday evening in Coral Gables, Fla.

The Hurricanes (9-2, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who will resume conference play next week when Clemson visits, have bounced back with wins over La Salle (84-77 score) and Stonehill (97-59) since taking a 90-63 pre-Christmas beating from Colorado. They still remain outside the Top 25 in the latest Associated Press rankings.

Miami was as high as No. 8 after starting the season 5-0.

The win over La Salle took some work, but the Stonehill game was a rout even though the Hurricanes were without injured guard Nijel Pack (lower extremity), who likely will be available this week.

“I think he could have played,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said, “but I think he felt the rest might help him.”

Freshman Keyshawn George made his first collegiate start in replacing Pack and was one of five players — all starters — in double figures in scoring for the Hurricanes with 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the field, all from 3-point range.

Larranaga sees a bright future for the French recruit.

“I know what he has to do to improve,” Larranaga said. “He can make incremental improvements this year, but what he really needs is a spring, a summer and a fall to become the player that he can become and I know he wants to become.”

North Florida (7-7) is in the midst of a five-game road stretch that started with losses to Florida State (91-75 score) and Georgia (78-60).

The Ospreys struggled from the field in the two defeats, going a combined 47 of 124, (37.9 percent) overall and 30 of 88 (34.1 percent) from behind the arc.

“We’ve got to figure out a way to hit open shots,” North Florida coach Matthew Driscoll said after the loss at Georgia. “We did a really good job finding each other and sharing the ball.”

The Ospreys had 12 assists on 23 field goals.

“We’ve just got to figure it out,” Driscoll said.

–Field Level Media

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