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Sunday, May 26, 2024


Nov. 19, 2001 – The University of Miami Hurricanes jumped started their 2001-2002 season in full force Sunday night, blowing the Eastern Michigan University Eagles away 93-56 in the men’s division of the Paradise Jam 2001 NCAA tournament at the University of the Virgin Islands.
The Hurricanes showed why they made it all the way to the sweet 16 in the 2000 NCAA tournament, totally dominating the Eagles throughout the game. Coming on like a category 5 'cane, they shot a sizzling 52 percent from the field and 55 percent from behind the three-point arch in the first half and never trailed in this game.
Every available Hurricane player, 14 of them, got minutes on the court, and all but four had double-digit minutes. Only three players did not score.
"This game will set the tone for us for the season," Hurricanes forward Darius Rice proclaimed. "We feel that we have more talent this year than last year," he added.
Many community leaders, public and private, were among the 1,000-plus spectators Sunday evening, among them Senate President Almando "Rocky" Liburd, Sen. Donald "Ducks" Cole, Internal Revenue Bureau director Louis "Lolo" Willis, Capital Improvement Program director Keith Richards, St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce president John de Jongh Jr. and labor leader Luis "Tito" Morales. All seemed to enjoy the games and the atmosphere of the new Sports and Fitness Center on the UVI campus.
The Hurricanes had four players in double figures: Rice led with 21 points and nine rebounds. James Jones, Marcus Barnes and John Salmons added 17, 15 and 13 points, respectively.
Eagles player Ricky Cottril made a strong offensive showing, with a game high 25 points on 7-16 shooting from the field.
The Eagles' record in this young season dropped to 0-2. For the Hurricanes, it was their first win of the season and the tournament.
Paradise Jam continues Monday with women's Dayton University vs. St. Mary's at 4 p.m., men's Clemson vs. LaSalle at 6:30 p.m., and men's Miami vs. University of Alabama-Birmingham at 9 p.m. For the full tournament schedule, see "NCAA basketball tourney set for November".

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