Historically, Antywane Robinson has had to make his first several shots to have an effective outing. A senior forward for the men’s basketball team, Robinson had played his best after sinking his early attempts.
That theory proved accurate again on Sunday.
Robinson and junior guard Dustin Salisbery scored 15 of the Owls’ first 20 points as the Owls beat the Hurricanes, 73-56, at the Liacouras Center.
Robinson said he won’t subscribe to any theories pertaining to his personal shooting. Instead, he said, the best shooter is whoever of his teammates is open.
“Whoever gets the open shot, takes it,” said Robinson, who finished with 15 points. “We feel we’re pretty good athletes, so as long as we’re going to get open shots, we’ll hit it.”
The Owls (2-1) opened the game by hitting 11 of their first 15 shots from the floor. The fast start forced the Hurricanes (4-2) to change defensive sets several times throughout the first half.
The Owls led by as many as 18 points twice in the first half. But their lead dwindled to four midway through the second half, behind a three-pointer from Miami guard Denis Clemente.
The Owls took control by spreading the floor on offense with a four-guard lineup. Coach John Chaney said he contemplated inserting 7-foot freshman Sergio Olmos, but chose against it in favor of speedy guards.
“I couldn’t afford to put Sergio out there as a stop-gap method,” Chaney said. “We can fool you with three guards.”
As the score would indicate, the Owls’ latest game wasn’t an extraordinarily close one, but it did feature a battle within itself. A battle for attention.
A Liacouras Center-record 24 NBA scouting credentials were issued prior to Sunday’s game with the Hurricanes. All eyes were focused on Collins and Miami guard Guillermo Diaz, a junior who had averaged 18 points in his four previous games this season. Before so many scouts, Diaz turned in a 1-of-10 shooting performance and six points.
Collins’ stat line – 19 points and seven assists (both game highs) and six rebounds – most likely earned the upper hand.
Sunday’s game marked the 12th time in 13 games that Collins has led the Owls in scoring, dating back to last season. … Four Owls notched double-figure scoring. Last season, they did so seven times, the last coming Feb. 22 against Saint Joseph’s. … Chaney said he had no health update on Wayne Marshall, who has been out of the lineup with dizziness. While he said he doesn’t know what afflicts Marshall, Chaney said, “I might need to exorcise him … to get the demons out of his [butt].”
A trip to Piscataway, N.J., is next for the Owls, who face Rutgers tomorrow night. The last time the two teams met was March 17, 2004, when guard Quincy Douby set a career high with 28 points in a Scarlet Knights’ win. Douby, now a junior, leads Rutgers in scoring, averaging 17.3 points per game. He also ranks in the top 10 in the Big East Conference in scoring.
In three wins this season, the Scarlet Knights (3-1) have won by an average of 10 points. In their lone loss, to No. 15 Illinois last Saturday, they were beaten by 20 points.
Christopher A. Vito can be reached at email@example.com.