- Associated Press - Saturday, February 1, 2014

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) - Miami finally enjoyed its first home win of the year and snapped a three-game losing streak.

Rion Brown scored 15 points as the Hurricanes defeated Norfolk State 64-49 on Saturday.

The win was Miami’s first since a 56-42 Atlantic Coast Conference victory at Georgia Tech on Jan. 18. The Hurricanes also had not won at home since their 71-48 victory over Loyola (Md.) on Dec. 30.

“First home win in 2014 - that’s very important,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said.

Manu Lecomte scored 13 points and Garrius Adams finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Hurricanes (11-10). Donnavan Kirk was Miami’s fourth player to finish in double-figure scoring with 10 points.

“It was important for us to get more confident playing at home,” Kirk said. “Obviously, this was a good game for us. I still don’t think we played as well as we should have. This is a steppingstone moving forward.”

The Hurricanes never trailed after a late first-half run that resulted in a 10-point lead at halftime.

A pair of 3s from Lecomte and Adams helped Miami on a 12-0 surge to start the second half that stretched its lead to 43-21. Tonye Jeriki’s jumper capped the run with 14:19 remaining.

The Hurricanes turned a close game into a comfortable advantage after switching from zone to man defense.

“I sensed we had to do something different,” Larranaga said. “When two teams are playing zone, the tendency is for the game to slow down.

“It was a reaction the way the game was going. I felt we got a way too passive in the zone.”

Riley Maye’s jumper with 14:02 remaining in the second half ended a scoring drought of 11:05 for the Spartans (12-10). Norfolk State missed 13 consecutive shots before Maye’s conversion.

The Hurricanes maintained a double figure lead the remainder of the game. Norfolk State got to within 50-40 on Pendarvis Williams’ running jumper with 6:31 remaining.

Williams scored 21 points and Brandon Goode finished with 14 for the Spartans, who played without leading scorer Malcolm Hawkins. Hawkins, who averages 16.7 points per game, is out indefinitely after he suffered a neck injury in practice on Wednesday.

“I liked our guys’ resiliency at the end, we put a very good fight,” Norfolk State coach Robert Jones said. “I wish we could have seen the same spirit a little earlier.”

The Hurricanes overcame a one-point deficit and outscored Norfolk State 13-2 in the final 7:23 of the first half. Brown scored seven points during the run and his running jumper with 1:30 remaining put the Hurricanes ahead at halftime 31-21.

“We started getting up by 10 and 15 (points) and you feel you’re better,” Kirk said. “You want to keep it pushing. That’s the key.”

The Spartans shot 1 of 9 from the field and had five turnovers in their late first-half scoring drought.

“We were turning it over and they were capitalizing on our turnovers,” Jones said. “We missed some shots here and there but it was more the turnovers that put us in the hole.”

The Spartans ran off nine unanswered points during a 2:18 span midway through the first half for their only lead. Williams scored eight points, including two 3-pointers, in the spurt. Williams’ second 3-pointer with 8:05 remaining ended the spurt and gave Norfolk State a 19-18 advantage.

Lecomte hit two 3-pointers early as Miami built a 15-8 lead 6:31 into the game. A 3-pointer from Brown with 10:40 remaining increased the Hurricanes’ lead to 18-10.

Miami resumes ACC play with a home game against Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. Norfolk State will return to its Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference schedule Feb. 8 at Morgan State.

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