@MiamiWBB Rolls in Regular Season Opening Win
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Hurricanes came out strong in their regular season opener against Oakland Friday at the BankUnited Center, going wire to wire for an impressive victory.
Katie Meier’s team started out with superb intensity, despite the early tip time and used a superb first half to roll to a 66-53 win in front of a raucous crowd of 2,726, including over 2,000 elementary school students. It was the highest attended game at Miami since the start of the 2008-09 season.
“At halftime I was real excited,” Meier said. “We played very maturely and we played everybody and played with great energy. And the kids absolutely helped, the school kids absolutely helped our energy level for sure.”
Miami (1-0) forced four turnovers and led 7-0 just two and a half minutes into the game, immediately setting the tone with its tenacious defense.
“I was hoping that we could come out and get that done a little bit,” Meier said.
The Hurricanes also had the long range shot working early, quickly showing that the team could make plays at the other end of the floor as well. Six different Hurricanes combined to hit seven hit three-pointers in the first half, including a pair by redshirt freshman Nigia Greene, giving Miami a 38-22 advantage at the break.
The defense remained strong too, as Miami limited Oakland (0-1) to 26.9 percent shooting through the first 20 minutes and the Golden Grizzlies turned the ball over 13 times. Nine of those came via steals by Miami, with seven different Hurricanes recording at least one.
“I couldn’t believe our defensive energy and our talking. I mean, we were everywhere,” Meier said of her team’s play before the break.
Oakland opened the second half on an 8-2 run to cut the deficit to 10, but Miami would not let the Golden Grizzlies inch any closer and the margin remained in double figures the rest of the way. In fact, the Hurricanes held a lead of at least 10 for the final 32-plus minutes.
Adrienne Motley, a 2013-14 ACC All-Rookie Team selection, paced the Hurricanes in scoring with 21 points and shot 60 percent (9-of-15) from the field, while also providing her usual effort all over the floor. The sophomore guard from Newport News, Va. also had six rebounds, three assists and three steals.
“That was fun,” Meier said of Motley’s offensive performance. “She’s been shooting a great percentage in practice, but hasn’t been shooting that much and for her to sort of settle in—I had to work through scoring looks for her at the one and then scoring looks for her at the two. I think when I moved her to the two she got a little bit more looks.”
Senior guard Suriya McGuire had a stellar game with a double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing a team-high 10 rebounds.
“I thought Ray Ray’s rebounding in the second half was ridiculous and kept us alive,” Meier said. “And then [McGuire and Motley] are very, very clutch. So all the calls coming towards the end were for Mot or Ray, Mot or Ray, and they came through every single time.”
For Oakland, Olivia Nash provided the main scoring punch, contributing 20 of her team’s first 32 points and finishing with a game-high 24 points. The junior forward also led all players with 14 rebounds.
Miami will return to the court Monday at 8:00 p.m. for its road opener, as the Hurricanes take on Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The game will be televised on American Sports Network.
MIAMI HURRICANES POSTGAME NOTES
- After today’s win Miami is now 12-2 against current Horizon League opponents.
- The Hurricanes are now 26-3 in home season openers.
- Miami continued its undefeated streak in home openers under Coach Meier (10-0).
- The first point of the season was score by Michelle Woods at the free throw line.
- The first field goal was a three-point jumper from Suriya McGuire.
- The starting five were Jessica Thomas, Michelle Woods, Jassany Williams, Adrienne Motley, and Suriya McGuire.
- Making their collegiate debuts were redshirt freshman Nigia Greene and freshman Erykah Davenport, Keyanna Harris, Laura Quevedo, and Khaila Prather.
- Nigia Greene scored her first career points as a Cane off of a three-pointer at the 12:46 mark of the first half. Erykah Davenport recorded her first career points with a layup at the 9:44 mark of the first half. Laura Quevedo scored her first career points with a three-point field goal at the 9:26 mark of the first half. Khalia Prather scored her first points as a Hurricane on the free throw line at the 17:54 mark of the second half.
- Eleven different Canes played in the win and eight of them scored.
- From 15:43 to 5:32 of the first half, the Canes held Oakland to seven points and extended their lead to 30-11 with 19-7 run.
- Miami shot at least 40 percent from both the field and three-point range in the first half, while holding Oakland under 30 percent in both categories through the first 20 minutes.
- The Hurricanes forced Oakland into 19 turnovers.
- After taking a 19-9 at the 12:46 mark in the first half, Miami led by double digits the rest of the game.
- Jessica Thomas tied a career high with 29 minutes played.
- Suriya McGuire‘s double-double was the second of her career, the first coming against NC State on 1/19/14, when she also had 12 points and 10 rebounds.