Dennis Burns scored 24 points as the University of Miami returned to college basketball after a 14-season absence with a 85-77 victory last night over The Citadel.

Former Hurricanes all-America Rick Barry was among basketball-playing alumni on hand in Miami at the James L. Knight Center as Miami played its first game since the program was disbanded for financial reasons after the 1970-71 season.

Burns, a 6-5 freshman forward, was a demon on the fast break, picking up 10 points on slam dunks.

Freshman guard Kevin Presto got most of his 22 points from long, and freshman forward Eric Brown scored most of his 21 from inside. Center Tim Harvey had 13 points.

"Everybody kept telling me how relaxed the players were," said Miami Coach Bill Foster. "But the first two times down the court, every player was in the wrong defense."

The Bulldogs fought back from a 75-60 deficit in the middle of the second half to 78-75 with 1:51 left.

The young Hurricanes did not fold. First, Brown drove the baseline for a basket, then Burns got a defensive rebound and passed to Presto for an easy fast-break score.

"We thought they would start out strong, which they did," Citadel Coach Randy Nesbitt said. "But we thought they would let down some times, and they didn't."

All Citadel starters were in double figures, led by John Hartwell's 19. Villanova 66, Drexel 51:

Freshman Doug West scored 14 points as defending NCAA champion Villanova beat visiting Drexel.

Drexel took a 23-19 advantage with 5:30 left. But Villanova pulled to a 28-26 halftime lead and hit seven of its first eight shots in the second half for a 48-34 lead.

Drexel's Michael Anderson was high scorer with 20 points on three field goals and 14 for 25 at the line. Notre Dame 79, St. Joseph's 49:

David Rivers scored a game-high 20 points as 12th-ranked Notre Dame overwhelmed St. Joseph's (Ind.) in South Bend, Ind.

Louisiana St. 84, Montana St. 59: In Baton Rouge, La., junior forward Nikita Wilson scored 27 points to lead 14th-ranked LSU.

Kentucky 77, Northwestern (La.) State 58:

Winston Bennett scored 18 points and Kenny Walker 13 as No. 11 Kentucky won at home. San Francisco 80, St. Mary's (Minn.) 60:

After a ragged start, Steve Hill's 20 points powered the Dons to victory in their first game since dropping men's basketball three years ago after recruiting violations.