@MiamiWBB Rolls to 79-42 Win vs. Clemson
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami returned home to host Clemson Thursday night at the BankUnited Center and put together a tremendous performance against the Tigers to remain undefeated in ACC play.
Miami led 23-19 with seven minutes left in the first half and then took hold of the game. The Hurricanes rattled off a 19-0 run in fewer than five minutes to grab a 42-19 lead with 2:29 to go before the break.
Miami (14-3, 4-0 ACC) continued its stellar play the rest of the way for a 79-42 win.
“If you don’t love this team yet, you’re missing something because they’re a lovable bunch,” Miami head coach Katie Meier said after the team’s 12th win in its last 13 games. “Defense means everything, defense is fun. I think one thing about this team that I love is that what other teams don’t like to do, we love to do.”
Senior forward Necole Sterling, making her second consecutive start, was a key cog in the run for the Hurricanes. She opened it with a three-pointer, hit a jumper and had a three-point play to give her eight of Miami’s 19 points on the run.
The Hurricanes’ defense was also tremendous during the stretch, as Miami held Clemson (9-9, 1-4 ACC) scoreless for nearly six and half minutes.
After grabbing hold of the large lead, Miami kept its advantage the same for the remainder of the half, going into the break ahead 45-22.
Sterling had 11 points at the intermission, as did sophomore guard Adrienne Motley, who was named the espnW National Player of the Week and ACC Player of the Week Monday. The pair combined to shoot 7-of-10 from the field and 4-of-5 from three-point range in the first half.
The Hurricanes outrebounded Clemson 24-11 in the opening 20 minutes, including a 12-1 margin on the offensive glass. Miami also outscored Clemson 16-4 in the paint in the first half.
“Our posts are willing to do the dirty work,” Meier said. “I’m asking them to score a little bit more now. I really want to see it, so we try to get the ball inside to them a little bit.”
Miami opened the second half the same way it closed the first half, scoring the first 13 points after coming out of the locker room to grab a 36-point lead. The early second half surge included two three-pointers from Sterling, one from close to NBA range.
Miami held the Tigers scoreless for the first five-plus minutes of the second half. Combining the charges to close the first half and open the second, Miami went on a 35-3 run. That included a stretch of over 14 minutes where Clemson did not make a shot from the field.
“The communication,” Meier said of what made the defense work so well against the Tigers. “I thought we did some high-level stuff and [we used] some high-level schemes. The kids just communicated their way through it.”
Despite their large lead, the Hurricanes continued to play hard the rest of the game and did not let the Tigers get within striking distance at any point.
Necole Sterling recorded 17 points to lead all scorers. The Los Angeles, Calif. native shot 6-of-9 from the field, 4-of-6 from three-point range and made her lone free throw. Sterling has scored 15-plus points three times in the last seven games for the Hurricanes.
“Unbelievable, we needed it from her. It was a great response, I’m so excited and proud of her,” Meier said of Sterling’s play in the win. “Every shot was a real good rhythm shot, but every shot she took was because she did something on the defensive end, and so she knew she had the green light. In our system, if you do something on defense, you get to shoot on the other end. If you’re not working on defense, you’re not allowed to take a shot. She’s doing both right now.”
Adrienne Motley posted 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting, while redshirt junior guard Michelle Woods added 12 points. Redshirt senior forward Jassany Williams had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Miami shot 10-of-21 from three-point range, with five different Hurricanes connecting from long range. The 47.6 percent clip from beyond the arc is the best for Miami this season.
The Hurricanes also had twice as many rebounds as Clemson, finishing with a 44-22 advantage on the boards.
Senior wing Nikki Dixon led Clemson with 10 points, but the Hurricanes held her to just 3-of-12 (25.0 percent) shooting from the floor.
Miami will hit the road for its next game, as the Hurricanes head to Durham, N.C. to face Duke Sunday, Jan. 18. The teams will square off at 1:00 p.m. at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
MIAMI HURRICANES POSTGAME NOTES
- For the second straight game, Miami’s starting five included Suriya McGuire, Adrienne Motley, Necole Sterling, Jessica Thomas, and Jassany Williams.
- The all-time series between Miami and Clemson is now 8-6 in favor of the Hurricanes, who have won five of the last six meetings.
- Katie Meier’s career record is now 253-169 in 14 seasons as a head coach.
- Meier moves to 177-124 in 10 years at the helm of the Hurricanes.
- Miami remains one of two teams undefeated in ACC play.
- The Hurricanes are 12-1 in their last 13 games, with the 12 wins by an average of 21.5 points.
- This is Miami’s first win by 30-plus points since defeating winning 83-47 vs. Florida A&M earlier this season (12/28/14).
- Miami now has three wins by 35-plus points this season.
- The Hurricanes also have six wins by 20-plus this season, including winning two of their four ACC games by over 20.
- Of Miami’s14 wins, 12 are by double digits, including all four ACC victories.
- The 79 points is the most Miami has scored in an ACC game this season, topping the previous high of 78 vs. No. 4 Notre Dame (1/8/15).
- In the first half, Miami made just four fewer shots (15) than Clemson attempted (19).
- Miami forced Clemson into 11 turnovers in the first half and turned them into 18 points, while the Hurricanes had just four turnovers of their own before the break, leading to just five points for the Tigers.
- The Hurricanes outrebounded the Tigers 18-5 on the offensive glass and second chance points favored Miami 22-5.
- Adrienne Motley has scored in double figures in 16 of Miami’s 17 games this season and has 15-plus 14 times.
- Necole Sterling has scored 15-plus points in three of the last seven games for the Hurricanes after not doing so at all in the first 10. She had 20 at Tulane (12/19/14) and 15 vs. LSU (12/29/14).
- Sterling’s four three-pointers matched her season high (previous at Tulane, 12/19/14).
- Necole Sterling also eclipsed 250 points in her career as a Hurricane.
- Jassany Williams’ double-double was her second of the season, as she previously recorded 12 points and 12 rebounds vs. Tulsa (11/29/14). It is the third in her two years as a Hurricane.
- Williams matched her career high with four made free throws (multiple times, most recently at Tulane, 12/19/14) and equaled her season best of six free throw attempts (previous at Tulane, 12/19/14).
- Redshirt freshman guard Nigia Greene equaled her season best with three rebounds (previously done multiple times, most recently vs. Boston College, 1/4/15)
- Senior guard Suriya McGuire matched a season high with five assists (previous at Tulane, 12/19/14).
- McGuire also surprassed 750 points and 150 made free throws in her college career.
- Jessica Thomas eclipsed 300 points and 100 made field goals as a collegian.