CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Miami overcame a difficult challenge from an Ivy League opponent to close its nonconference schedule. Ja'Quan Newton scored 22 points as the Hurricanes defeated Columbia 78-67 on Wednesday night in a final tuneup for their Atlantic Coast Conference opener against North Carolina State on Saturday.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Miami overcame a difficult challenge from an Ivy League opponent to close its nonconference schedule.
Ja'Quan Newton scored 22 points as the Hurricanes defeated Columbia 78-67 on Wednesday night in a final tuneup for their Atlantic Coast Conference opener against North Carolina State on Saturday.
"I think we were pretty focused on Columbia," Newton said. "I just think the time we had off led to this."
Miami has played twice in the last 12 days while Columbia had been idle since Dec. 11.
"We were just a little jittery, excited to get back and playing," Newton said. "It will be totally different on Saturday."
The Hurricanes (10-2) built three 13-point leads but fought off repeated runs from the Lions. Columbia (4-6) got to within 51-49 on Luke Petrasek's jumper with 12:59 remaining in the second half.
Newton's third 3-pointer with 3:01 remaining gave Miami a 71-61 lead for its first double-digit advantage since 3:45 into the second half.
Fighting a hyperextended left knee the past two weeks, Newton shot 7 of 14 from the field, including 3 of 5 3-pointers and finished with nine rebounds.
"I can't move like how I really want to move out there," Newton said. "Personally, for me I haven't played basketball in a week. I couldn't work out. When I went out today I wasn't in the best rhythm that I've been in."
The Hurricanes committed 20 turnovers, including a season-high in the first half that helped keep Columbia within striking distance. Newton had 10 of Miami's turnovers.
"Early in the season we were turning the ball over a lot," Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. "Last few games we've done a better job. Today we were very anxious and out of sync."
Davon Reed finished with 18 points and Anthony Lawrence added 10 for the Hurricanes.
"You have to give Columbia a lot of credit," Larranaga said. "They really executed their offense very well."
Petrasek led the Lions with 16 points.
"We hung around and had some opportunities there," Columbia coach Jim Engles said. "They made some big plays when we needed some stops. After such a long layoff, I thought the guys competed very well.
"We're still trying to adjust to things. We're still working on some things on both ends of the ball, so playing against a high-level opponent like Miami and being able to compete with some of the things they were doing I think is a good sign."
The victory was the 1,000th in the Hurricanes' history. Miami compiled 456 victories before the program was dropped in 1971 and has won 544 games since its renewal in 1985-86.
Miami: The Hurricanes won their 20th straight home game. Miami is unbeaten at home since a 78-77 loss to Northeastern on Nov. 27, 2015.
Columbia: The Lions are 10-28 against Atlantic Coast Conference teams. Their last victory over an ACC opponent was against Wake Forest on Dec. 27, 1969.
Hurricanes freshman guard Bruce Brown had six rebounds. Brown has finished with four or more rebounds in each of Miami's 12 games.
Lions' senior forward Jeff Coby, of neighboring Pembroke Pines, Florida, made his first start of the season. Coby scored 13 points in 24 minutes.
Miami: The Hurricanes open ACC play against North Carolina State on Saturday.
Columbia: The Lions return home on Friday and face Albany.