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@MiamiWBB Moves ACC Record to 3-0 With Win

@MiamiWBB Moves ACC Record to 3-0 With Win

BLACKSBURG, Va. – After defeating fourth-ranked Notre Dame Thursday at the BankUnited Center, the University of Miami opened its ACC road slate Sunday afternoon with another dominant win at Virginia Tech’s Cassell Coliseum.

Despite an uncharacteristically slow start, the Hurricanes kicked it into gear late in the first half and went on to defeat the Hokies 62-45 to improve their ACC record to 3-0. Miami is one of just two undefeated teams in ACC play.

“This is an absolute compliment to Dennis [Wolff] and his staff, but it’s very hard to win here,” Miami head coach Katie Meier said. “There’s a lot of factors . . . There’s always a great defensive game plan where—I understand what coaching does—and they do a great job of scouting the individual players. And everyone’s like, ‘Oh, I’m off’ and I [tell them],’ They’re making you off.’ Give credit to Virginia Tech for that. They do a nice job. This was a very scary game for us, especially coming off the win that we had and I’m thrilled.”

Trailing 15-11 after 12 minutes, sophomore guard Adrienne Motley and redshirt senior forward Jassany Williams took over the game in a similar fashion to their standout performances against the Fighting Irish.

Motley, a native of Newport News, Va., and playing just a few hours from home, scored two quick baskets to even the game at 15-15, while senior guard Suriya McGuire gave Miami its first lead with an impressive finish at the rim.

Virginia Tech tied it up, but Motley responded with a three-point play to put the Hurricanes ahead 20-17.

Williams was dominant defensively down the stretch of the first half. She recorded four blocks in the final eight minutes before the break, and entered the locker room with seven blocked shots in the opening 20 minutes.

Miami led 23-20 at the half behind 11 points from Motley, while Williams had six rebounds in addition to her seven blocks. Motley would finish with 22.

The start of the second half was a back-and-forth affair, with Virginia Tech holding a 33-31 lead six minutes in. Again, it was Motley who stepped up for the Hurricanes (13-3, 3-0 ACC), as the sophomore scored two straight buckets to open a 17-2 run that put Miami ahead 48-35 with 6:28 to play.

The Hurricanes’ defense during the run was outstanding, as Miami held Virginia Tech without a field goal for a stretch of just over eight minutes.

“As a team that’s really conditioned and really committed to defense, that 12 to eight minute mark in the second half, we own that , we want that, and I think we [used it well] again today,” Meier said of the team’s run.

The Hokies never managed to get back within striking distance, and the Hurricanes ended with a 17-point victory. The visitors, who turned the ball over just eight times, forced host Virginia Tech into 20 turnovers.

After scoring 32 points in the win over Notre Dame, Motley led all scorers with 22.

“When you come off a great game like she did the last game, no one in the ACC is going to let you do it again and I think her effort tonight, the fact that she dropped 22 when they giving her a ton of attention  just shows you what a great player [she is],” Meier said of Motley’s performance. “And she’s playing like an All-American right now, I’m just quoting [Notre Dame head coach] Muffett McGraw, she said it the last game. I agree.”

Redshirt freshman guard Nigia Greene had 12 points, while sophomore guard Jessica Thomas finished with nine.

Williams ended the game with 12 rebounds to tie a season high, and finished with eight blocks.

Freshman guard Rachel Camp led Virginia Tech with 14 points and sophomore guard Vanessa Panousis added 11, but Miami held the talented duo to a combined 10-of-28 shooting from the field (35.7 percent).

Miami returns home to face Clemson Thursday, Jan. 15 at 7:00 p.m. at the BankUnited Center.

MIAMI HURRICANES POSTGAME NOTES

  • Miami’s starting five consisted of Suriya McGuire, Adrienne Motley, Necole Sterling, Jessica Thomas, and Jassany Williams.
  • Miami now leads the all-time series 13-6 over Virginia Tech and has won seven in a row against the Hokies.
  • Katie Meier’s career record is now 252-169 in 14 seasons as a head coach. This is the 100th conference victory of Meier’s coaching career, with 64 of them at Miami.
  • Meier moves to 176-124 in 10 years at the helm of the Hurricanes.
  • The Hurricanes are one of just two teams undefeated in ACC play.
  • Adrienne Motley has scored in double figures in 15 of Miami’s 16 games, including each of the last 14. She has 16-plus points 13 times and over 20 seven times.
  • Motley set a career high with eight made free throws (previous seven vs. UCLA, 12/18/14) and matched her career high with eight rebounds (previous at North Carolina, 2/2/14).
  • After setting a new program record with nine blocks against No. 4 Notre Dame (1/8/14), Jassany Williams recorded eight against Virginia Tech.
  • Williams had six blocks in the final six minutes against Notre Dame and then seven first half against Virginia Tech, giving her 13 in a stretch of 26 minutes.
  • Williams’ 12 rebounds tied her season high, which she set against Tulsa (11/29/14).
  • Jassany Williams also surprassed 500 rebounds in her college career.
  • Freshman forward Erykah Davenport set a career high with three steals (previous two at Tulane, 12/19/14) and equaled her career high with five rebounds (previously done multiple times, most recently vs. Florida A&M, 12/28/14).
  • Freshman forward Khaila Prather matched her career high with six rebounds (previously done multiple times, most recently vs. LSU, 12/29/14).
  • Jessica Thomas eclipsed 50 made free throws as a collegian.