- Associated Press - Thursday, December 22, 2016

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Davon Reed is finding his shooting stroke just as Miami approaches conference play.

Reed scored 17 points, including 3 of 7 3-pointers to lead the Hurricanes to a 72-64 victory over George Washington on Thursday night.

For Reed, the performance earned him a second consecutive finish as Miami’s top scorer. The recent outings differ from the senior guard’s shooting struggles earlier in the season.

“My early slump in the season was more adjusting to the team to get more assists and run more plays,” Reed said. “I just simplified my game, having more confidence. My teammates have been able to get me the ball and I’ve been making some shots.”

The Hurricanes (9-2) secured the victory with eight free throws in the final 41 seconds. Reed’s two free throws with 5.9 seconds left gave Miami its final margin.

Ja’Quan Newton finished with 14 points and Bruce Brown had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Hurricanes. Ebuka Izundu added 12 points.

“We played very smart, very well down the stretch,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “I thought it was like an ACC game. It was very physical inside.”

The victory increased Miami’s streak to five games, while the loss snapped a three-game winning for George Washington.

Yuta Watanabe scored 15 points to lead the Colonials (8-5). Watanabe returned to the lineup after missing the last seven games because of a calf injury.

Both teams enjoyed huge first half runs. Reed keyed a 23-4 spurt that gave Miami a 28-8 lead with 8:45 remaining.

“I thought we played sensational for the first 13 minutes,” Larranaga said. “There was just a slight letup and that was just enough.”

The Colonials responded with a 22-6 run in the next 7:29. Watanabe scored 11 points, including three 3-pointers and his third conversion from behind the arc got George Washington within 34-30 with 1:16 left.

“We knew we were going to fight back,” George Washington coach Maurice Joseph said. “We’re a resilient group but I also knew it was going to take a lot of energy and effort and we’ve seen what it does to our team and how much energy it takes to come back.”

The Colonials’ starting lineup of Tyler Cavanaugh, Jaren Sina, Jordan Roland, Arnaldo Toro and Collin Smith lost for the first time after five straight wins.

Reed became the 37th player in Hurricanes history to reach 1,000 points after his dunk with 5:45 remaining in the second half.

Newton finished with five assists, increasing his streak of games with five or more assists to four.

Watanabe showed no ill effects from the calf injury.

“That kind of surprised me how much energy he had.” Joseph said. “How effective he was scoring the ball, making shots and blocking shots and how good he was defensively, given the fact that he hadn’t played in seven games.

The Hurricanes close their nonconference schedule with a home game against Columbia Wednesday.

The Colonials open their Atlantic 10 schedule when the visit Saint Joseph’s Dec. 30.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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