@MiamiWBB Defeats Illinois State by 51
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami started the second half on a 30-0 run against Illinois State Friday at the BankUnited Center and dominated from the opening tip until the final horn.
Head coach Katie Meier’s team jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never looked back, controlling the game at both ends of the floor in a 95-44 victory in the opener of the Miami Thanksgiving Tournament.
“It’s a lot of fun, you see everybody just giving their all for each other,” UM sophomore guard Jessica Thomas said of the way teams clicked throughout the team in the win. “Nobody’s being selfish about it and it’s just that we all want to win, we want to have fun, we want to play together.”
The Hurricanes held the Redbirds scoreless for the first 4:27 to build the early double figure advantage and then continued their superb play throughout, as they did not trail at any point.
In the first half alone, Miami (3-2) scored 20 points off 14 forced turnovers and limited Illinois State (0-5) to just 24 total points at the break. The Hurricanes led 33-20 with 6:10 left in the first half and closed the frame on an 11-4 run for a 20-point advantage, 44-24, headed to the locker room.
A large part of Miami’s first half success came on the glass, as the Hurricanes pulled down 25 rebounds to Illinois State’s 16. That included a 13-3 edge in offensive rebounds and the Redbirds had zero second chance points in the opening session.
The Hurricanes opened the second half even impressively than they did the first. Miami scored 21 points in the first five minutes after the break and held the Redbirds scoreless.
The incredible run would continue until the 10:33 mark, when Illinois State hit a free throw to end a 30-0 run for the Hurricanes. By then, the score was 74-24.
“They were conserving [in the first half], so I called them out on it and changed the lineup up coming out in second half,” Meier said of the second half opening surge. “Jessica, I told her, you’re playing a great half, I just got to make a change. She didn’t do anything wrong, but it was just like, change it up. So, when she came in there with that second group, it was like they put an exclamation point on the effort of the first group. So, I was pleased, that’s what we needed to see.”
In the second half as a whole, Miami outscored Illinois State 51-20 to provide the final 95-44 tally.
This was the first time Miami scored 90-plus points in a game since Dec. 29, 2011 when it defeated VCU 91-61 at the BankUnited Center. It was also Miami’s first win by 50-plus since a 77-24 victory over North Florida on Nov. 9, 2012 at the BUC.
As she has done in every home game so far, Adrienne Motley led Miami in scoring with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. This time she tied for the lead though, as redshirt freshman guard Nigia Greene had a career-high 16 as well. Jessica Thomas added 14 and freshman forward Keyanna Harris had a career-high nine points.
“We were really happy for Keyanna Harris—we call her Keke—she didn’t get to play at all against Arizona State, but [she had the] best response,” Meier said. “And she’s a freshman and to have that maturity and her response in practice—we have the most intense practice player after every [practice], we stat it out, and she won the day after not playing at all and that was just such a beautiful response. So, I went to her early to kind of say I’m going to reward that behavior and I thought she was great. I thought she played a great, great game. Really active on the defensive end and that helped a lot.”
Sophomore guard Taylor Stewart paced Illinois State with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Junior guard Stekara Hall had 10.
The Hurricanes will return to the court in fewer than 24 hours, as they will play the winner of the Buffalo vs. Tulsa game in the championship of the Miami Thanksgiving Tournament. The game is set for 1:00 p.m. at the BankUnited Center.
MIAMI HURRICANES POSTGAME NOTES
- For the third game in a row, the Miami starting five was Jessica Thomas, Nigia Greene, Laura Quevedo, Jassany Williams, and Adrienne Motley.
- The Hurricanes out-rebounded the Redbirds 25-16 before the break.
- Miami’s 11-4 run to close the first half and 30-0 run to start the second half combined for a 41-4 run for the Hurricanes over a stretch of 14 minutes and 19 seconds.
- The Hurricanes held Illinois State scoreless for a span of 10 minutes and eight seconds.
- Miami held Illinois State without a field goal for a stretch of 12 minutes and two seconds.
- Illinois State did not make a three-pointer in the game, as Miami held the Redbirds to 0-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc.
- Miami had 16 turnovers and forced 27. The Hurricanes led Illinois State 37-5 in points off turnovers.
- Adrienne Motley has scored over 15 points, made at least seven field goals and shot at least 55 percent in all of Miami’s home games.
- All 11 healthy Hurricanes played and each one of them scored.
- Keyanna Harris made the first three-pointer of her career with 13:41 left in the game and then recorded her first block just 35 seconds later. The freshman also topped her career mark with three assists.
- Seven of Harris’ career-high nine points were in the second half. She made the first field goal of her career with 9:25 left in the first frame.
- Michelle Woods surpassed 100 made field goals in her career.
- Woods also set new season highs for rebounds (six) and made field goals (four).
- Necole Sterling posted a career-high three steals and set new season highs with three assists and three made field goals.
- Nigia Greene set several career highs, including points (16), made field goals (six), steals (three), and minutes (23).
- Laura Quevedo had the first two steals of her career.
- Erykah Davenport recorded the first three made free throws of her career and set a new top mark with 15 minutes.