No. 14/20 Miami
|Box Score||Season Stats|
|SCORE BY QUARTER|
|Click here to enlarge|
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Miami women’s basketball team picked up its first win of the season Sunday night, defeating Albany, 77-53, in the finale of the Kentucky Classic at Memorial Coliseum.
Behind a dozen 3-pointers and four players with double-digit points, No. 14/20 Miami (1-1) was dominant in its first all-time meeting with the Great Danes, who have won five straight America East titles and reached the second round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
“We’ve got lineups and you don’t want to disrupt flow, but you also want to use your depth to your advantage. So, I think this weekend we were working through those issues to make sure that we become an unbeatable team because of our depth,” Miami head coach Katie Meier said. “. . . We are not just trying to be average; we are trying to be great. We have an interesting, diverse lineup and we have to take advantage of it.”
Sophomore guard Laura Cornelius scored nine points in the opening two minutes and 43 seconds, including each of Miami’s first seven to begin the contest, helping the Hurricanes take an early 10-4 edge. Albany (0-2) would regroup from there and gained a 20-19 advantage through one period of play.
As she did in the first frame, Cornelius began the second by connecting on a 3-pointer, this one sparking a 12-2 run for Miami, which took a 31-22 lead. After the Great Danes pulled to within five, Miami responded with a 15-2 run to go ahead, 46-28.
Albany scored the final points of the session, but Miami went into the locker room with a 46-30 lead after scoring 27 of the 37 points in the period.
Cornelius (12), senior guard Nigia Greene (nine) and sophomore forward/center Erykah Davenport (eight) combined for 29 points in the first 20 minutes, during which the Hurricanes shot a blistering 51.4 percent (18-of-35) and held Albany to a 37.5 percent clip (12-of-32).
Albany trimmed the deficit to 12 in the third period, but Miami answered by connecting on a trio of 3-pointers, including a pair by senior guard Adrienne Motley, to quickly push its lead to 21. The Hurricanes held the Great Danes without a field goal—and to just one point—over a span of five minutes and 34 seconds in the third quarter and led, 66-41, entering the final session.
The Hurricanes extended their lead to as many as 28 points in the fourth quarter en route to earning the 77-53 victory.
Cornelius paced the Hurricanes with 12 points and a career-high-tying three steals. Sophomore forward Keyanna Harris posted a career-best 11, her third-career outing with double figures, and tied her career high with five made field goals.
“I thought Keke [Harris]—the whole weekend—was all about The U, she was all about Miami,” Meier said. “She played every position, she hit a three, she helped us in the press and hit the offensive glass very hard. She was just a great utility player for us and someone who is doing that for this team is going to play a lot.”
Senior guard Jessica Thomas notched 11 points and Davenport finished with 10. Motley, who had nine points, logged seven assists in the game, one shy of her career best and the third time she has posted at least seven in an outing. Greene posted nine points and a career-high three assists.
Senior guard Imani Tate was the only Albany player in double figures, finishing with a game-high 23 points.
The Hurricanes started the game 9-of-19 from 3-point range and finished 12-of-30 (40.0 percent). Their 12 makes from long range tied their top total in any game in the 2015-16 season.
“I think we really shared the ball and recognized the hot hand. Laura hit one, we went right back to her. Gia hit one, we went right back to her. Motley hit one, we went right back to her,” Meier said. “That’s the sophistication that a veteran team needs to bring. We used our posts as passers either for the high low or for the kick outs and I thought they did a fantastic job. The post really moved the ball very well.”
Miami outrebounded the Great Danes, 46-24, had a 29-14 advantage in bench points and also logged 15 steals to Albany’s eight.
The Hurricanes will play their first game at the newly-named Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Fla., when they take on Charlotte Wednesday at 7 p.m.
MIAMI HURRICANES POSTGAME NOTES
· Freshman center Serena-Lynn Geldof earned her first minutes as a Hurricane. Miami, which had 11 active players last season, had all 13 eligible individuals play against the Great Danes.
· Greene has made a trio of 3-pointers in each of Miami’s first two games of the season after previously making three in a game just once in her career.
· Davenport has logged 10-plus points in the first two games of 2016-17 after previously posting double-digit points in back-to-back games just once (10 vs. Coppin State on 12/4/15 and 10 vs. UMass Lowell on 12/6/15).
· Junior guard/forward Shaneese Bailey moved past 150 made free throws as a collegian, Cornelius eclipsed 200 points and reached 50 made 3-pointers as a Hurricane, Davenport surpassed 300 rebounds in her career, Motley moved past 3,000 minutes played as a collegian and Thomas eclipsed 2,500 minutes played and reached 250 assists at Miami.
· Miami led for all but one minute and 10 seconds in the contest and trailed for a total of 40 seconds.