@MiamiWBB Defeats FAMU in Holiday Tournament
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami trailed Florida A&M 12-7 eight minutes into the opener of the Miami Holiday Tournament Sunday afternoon at the BankUnited Center.
Then, everything changed. Miami (9-3) went on a 26-3 run over the next eight and a half minutes, including one stretch where the Hurricanes scored 16 straight points. Just like that it was 31-15 Miami.
The Hurricanes never looked back from there and rolled to an 83-47 victory.
“Our starters just were flat, so we subbed all five and then when we brought the starters back in I thought that changed the game,” Miami head coach Katie Meier said of the slow start and the ensuing run. “Sometimes it’s a matter of they don’t realize that they’re just playing a little bit shy of 100 percent and then you sit them down. And then they seem to get the message without me having to say much more.”
A big help for Miami in its big first half run was an aggressive defensive approach that pressured Florida A&M (3-7, 1-0 MEAC) in the backcourt. Miami forced 16 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes and turned them into 22 points.
Meanwhile, the Hurricanes had only seven turnovers before the break and they led to just seven points for the Rattlers. Miami led 41-23 at the intermission.
“That’s what we do, we just weren’t doing it [earlier on],” Meier said of the aggressive defense and forcing turnovers. “We were doing about 80, not even, 75 percent effort defensively and that happens after a long layoff and stuff, but we reminded them we were coming off a loss. It was a long time ago, but we were coming off a loss and we don’t play soft when we’re coming off a loss, we play really, really tough. And so finally it sort of kicked in.”
The Hurricanes started the second half the same way they closed the first, opening the frame on a 9-0 run in the first minute and 35 seconds to take a 50-23 advantage. The nine points came on a trio of three-pointers, with redshirt junior guard Michelle Woods making two and Jessica Thomas connecting on the other.
The three-point shooting was stellar throughout the game for the Hurricanes. Miami made 13 three-pointers in the game to set a new season high and the 44.8 percent clip (13-of-29) was also a season best.
Six Hurricanes hit at least one shot from beyond the arc. Redshirt freshman guard Nigia Greene made three to set a career high, while Michelle Woods had four to set a season high and Jessica Thomas matched her season best with three.
“Well we needed to [shoot well from three-point range],” Meier said. “We were expecting zone and Florida A&M is big. On film, I saw them, but they’re big. They’re going to do a nice job in their conference . . . So that was a big zone and we kind of had to shoot over it a little bit and thank God [we made shots]. But I thought our ball movement was amazing, 20 assists to 12 turnovers.”
The 20 assists was a season high and Miami scored over 80 points for the third time this season
The Hurricanes had five players score in double figures in the win. Michelle Woods led all players with 17 points, while Nigia Greene had 14, Adrienne Motley had 12, Jessica Thomas had 11, and Jassany Williams added 10.
Senior guard Taneka Rubin paced Florida A&M with 14 points and junior forward Olivia Antilla chipped in 12, but Miami limited the duo to 7-of-24 (29.2 percent) shooting.
The Hurricanes will be back in action just over 24 hours after defeating Florida A&M. Miami will face the winner of Sunday’s second game, which features LSU and UNCG, Monday, Dec. 29 at 3:00 p.m. at the BankUnited Center. That game will be the Miami Holiday Tournament championship.
MIAMI HURRICANES POSTGAME NOTES
- For the sixth straight game, the Hurricanes’ starting lineup consisted of Suriya McGuire, Adrienne Motley, Laura Quevedo, Jessica Thomas, and Jassany Williams.
- Miami now leads the all-time series against Florida A&M 12-9.
- Katie Meier’s record in her 14 years as a head coach moves to 248-169. She is two victories away from 250.
- Meier is now 172-124 in her 10 years as the head coach at Miami.
- Of Miami’s nine wins this season, eight are by double figures.
- This was Miami’s second highest point total of the season and the first time the Hurricanes scored between 80 and 89 points since posting 81 against North Florida Nov. 21, 2014.
- The last time Miami won by 30-39 points was Jan. 4, 2014 against Wake Forest, a 31-point victory for the Hurricanes.
- Miami recorded double digit steals for the sixth straight game.
- For the tenth time in 12 games, all 11 healthy Hurricanes played.
- Miami held Florida A&M scoreless for a stretch of over six minutes in the first half.
- The Hurricanes had nine offensive rebounds in the first 10 minutes of the game, including four by freshman forward Khaila Prather.
- Five different Hurricanes combined to make six three-pointers in the first half. Jessica Thomas connected on two in the first frame.
- Khaila Prather scored a career-high six points (previous five vs. Coppin State, 12/13/14), played a career-high 21 minutes (previous 15 vs. Illinois State, 11/28/14) and had a career-high three made field goals.
- Adrienne Motley scored in double figures for the eleventh time in 12 games. She has done so 10 games in a row.
- Motley also eclipsed 200 made field goals in her college career.
- Jessica Thomas set a new career high in steals for the second straight game. She recorded five steals in the win, topping the four she had at Tulane in the prior game. Thomas is the first Hurricane with five steals in a game since senior guard Suriya McGuire did so Dec. 4, 2014 against Wisconsin.
- Jassany Williams matched a season high with five made field goals (previous vs. Tulsa, 11/29/14).
- In addition to setting a season high with four made three-pointers, Michelle Woods also had new season bests in assists (four) and made field goals (six).
- Woods’ 17 points matched a season high (previous vs. UCLA, 12/18/14) and she surpassed 350 points as a Miami Hurricane in the game too.
- Freshman forward Erykah Davenport set a career high with 18 minutes played (previous 16 vs. Coppin State, 12/13/14) and equaled her career high by grabbing five rebounds.
- Nigia Greene played a career-high 27 minutes (previous 23 vs. Illinois State, 11/28/14). She also matched her career highs in rebounds (three), assists (two) and steals (three).
- Freshman forward Laura Quevedo set a new career highs in free throws made (six), free throws attempted (six) and assists (three). Her prior top marks at the line came against Arizona State (11/25/14) when she shot 3-of-4.
- Senior guard Suriya McGuire recorded the 50th start of her college career.