After going to the locker room up only four points at halftime, the Hurricanes blitzed visiting Gardner-Webb over the final 20 minutes to claim a 77-45 victory.
Sophomore guard Bruce Brown recorded the second triple-double of his career and the third in program history. Brown scored 10 points, hauled in 11 rebounds and dished out 11 assists for the Hurricanes, who shot just under 64 percent in the second half after struggling to make only 33.3 percent in the first half. They outscored Gardner-Webb 50-22 in the second half.
"I would say it was a little bit of a struggle in the first half getting any kind of a rhythm offensively," Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. "I thought our defense was OK when we got back. We gave up a couple of transition baskets that I was not pleased about and caused us to call a timeout.
"But I thought the second half our defense right away was very attentive, and it led to a lot of transition baskets. We scored 50 in the second half after scoring just 27 in the first, so a much better performance."
Brown was a key factor in that after scoring just four points and handing out four assists to go with six rebounds in the first half.
"I think the effort wasn't there in the first half and the offense looked terrible," Brown said. "We just regrouped, talked in the locker room, brought the energy back, and in the second half we came back and played the way we know how to play."
Brown had plenty of support.
Sophomore forward Dewan Huell and junior center Ebuku Izundu scored 14 points each to lead all scorers.
Izundu added 10 rebounds for his first career double-double.
Senior guard Ja'Quan Newton scored 13 points, and freshman guard Lonnie Walker added 10. Walker's first collegiate basket was a dunk on a pass from Brown.
The second-half outburst was exactly what Gardner-Webb coach Tim Kraft feared. His overmatched team had kept the pace of the game slower with a zone defense, but all that quickly changed when Miami opened the second half with a 14-0 run.
"We just thought it gave us a shot to get off to a good start," Kraft said.
It did when the Bulldogs jumped in front 7-0, but the Hurricanes scored the next 10 points, though they never really were able to shake the visitors until the second-half outburst.
"Obviously for us, the second half was a rough one," Kraft said. "I don't know if I've gone through a second half like that where we've just been blitzed like that."
The Bulldogs never did get their offense in gear. They shot only 31.7 percent and had only one scorer in double figures: forward DJ Laster, with 10 points.
NOTES: Miami hosts Navy on Sunday afternoon in its next game. Gardner-Webb is at No. 8 Florida on Sunday night. ... The Hurricanes were picked to finish fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Runnin' Bulldogs were predicted to be fifth in the Big South. ... Coach Jim Larranaga improved to 6-1 in season openers at Miami. Tim Kraft is 0-5 in openers at Gardner-Webb. ... Gardner-Webb G David Efianayi was held to only nine points after scoring in double figures in all 32 of his appearances last season.