March On! @MiamiWBB Downs UW in NCAA Opener
IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Miami women’s basketball team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last five years by knocking off sixth-seeded Washington Friday afternoon.
Led by a program NCAA Tournament record-setting 30 points from sophomore guard Adrienne Motley, No. 11 seed Miami took down the Huskies, 86-80, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena and picked up its 20th win of the season as well. The 86 points matched the most in an NCAA Tournament game in program history.
“That had to be one of the most fun games to coach in that I’ve had in my career, and it had to be awesome for the fans and for television,” Miami head coach Katie Meier said. “I think there were 13 ties in the game. The players were just making plays. It was just a beautiful women’s basketball game. I thought well executed by both teams, and I think when I watch it on film, I’m going to have even more fun. I just thought it was amazing.”
The first 15 minutes of the game saw the teams trading baskets at each end and the score was even at 28 after guard Michelle Woods hit a three-pointer with 5:04 to go before the break.
That shot by the redshirt junior sparked a Hurricane run, with Woods and Motley doing all the scoring at one end and great team defense at the other. Beginning with Woods’ game-tying three-pointer, the duo outscored Washington 16-5 to close the half.
That run gave Miami a 39-31 advantage at the break. The Hurricanes held Washington (23-10, 11-7 Pac-12) to two points, and no field goals, in the final 3:45 of the first frame.
Miami (20-12, 8-8 ACC) limited the Huskies to two makes on the final 16 shots of the session. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes hit six of their final eight shots before the intermission. Senior forward Necole Sterling was also big for Miami in the first half, scoring 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting.
Motley opened the second half with a three-pointer to push the Hurricanes’ lead into double figures for the first time all game. The Huskies then responded with a 9-2 run to trim Miami’s advantage to four, 46-42, with 16:52 on the clock.
The Hurricanes would not relent though, countering with an 8-2 spurt to get the advantage up to 10, but once again Washington made a run. The Huskies scored 11 straight points to take a one-point lead, 55-54, with 10:47 remaining.
Washington extended its lead to five, 65-50, with 7:21 to go, but the game of runs continued. Miami scored 11 of the next 14 points to take a 71-68 advantage with 3:23 left.
“I just was really confident and had players making plays and it’s really easy to coach when your players are making plays,” Meier said of navigating through all the runs in the game. “I didn’t have to coach mistakes today, I didn’t have to coach droughts, and so it was just a matter of who to go to and when, but the players showed up. That was a lot of fun.”
The Huskies evened the score 16 seconds later with a three-point play, but Miami yet again mounted a run in response. The Hurricanes scored six straight points to take a six-point lead and they would not let this advantage slip away.
Miami made 16 of its final 22 free throws in the game, enough to hold off Washington, which hit some tough shots down the stretch. Freshman forward Erykah Davenport, who had a career-high and game-high 13 rebounds, grabbed a board with six seconds left and then sank a pair from the line to ice the game.
In addition to Motley, who led all scorers, three other Hurricanes posted double figures in the game. Sophomore guard Jessica Thomas had 19, Woods had 17 and Sterling had 11. Miami had a season-low four turnovers in the game and made a season-high 58.3 percent of its three-point field goal attempts (7-of-12).
Led by Woods’ tenacious defense, the Hurricanes limited the nation’s seventh leading scorer, Washington sophomore guard Kelsey Plum, to 5-of-14 (35.7 percent) shooting. She and redshirt junior forward Talia Walton paced the Huskies with 17 points each.
“I think we got 66 of our 86 points from our three starting guards,” Meier said of Motley, Thomas and Woods, “and yet that’s not what we are going to talk about. It’s going to be their defensive effort.”
Miami will play in the round of 32 Sunday in Iowa City against the winner of the afternoon game between third-seeded Iowa and 14-seed American. The game is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. ET at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
MIAMI HURRICANES POSTGAME NOTES
- Miami’s starting five consisted of Suriya McGuire, Adrienne Motley, Jessica Thomas, Jassany Williams, and Michelle Woods for the ninth time in the last 10 games.
- The all-time series between Miami and Washington is now tied at one.
- Katie Meier’s record is now 259-178 in her 14 years as a head coach.
- Meier moves to 183-133 in her 10 seasons at Miami.
- In addition, Meier is now 3-4 in NCAA Tournament games, including 3-3 at Miami. Her three NCAA Tournament wins at Miami are the most by any head coach in program history.
- The Hurricanes have three NCAA Tournament wins in the last five years after winning two previously in program history.
- Miami’s 86 points equaled the most it has ever scored in an NCAA Tournament history (previous at home vs. North Carolina, 3/21/92).
- In the past five seasons, the Hurricanes have now recorded 20-plus wins four times.
- Miami’s 40 free throw attempts surpassed the previous program high of 39 in NCAA Tournament play (home vs. North Carolina, 3/21/92).
- The Hurricanes’ 58.3 percent clip from three-point range topped their prior season best of 47.6 percent against Clemson (1/15/15) and also set the highest mark in program history in NCAA Tournament play (previous 42.9 percent vs. Clemson, 3/14/98).
- By grabbing 34 defensive rebounds, Miami set a new program record in NCAA Tournament action (previous 31 vs. Gardner-Webb, 3/20/11).
- The Hurricanes had single-digit turnovers in an NCAA Tournament game for the first time in program history and the four turnovers were nearly one-third of the previous high (11 vs. Vanderbilt, 3/26/92). Additionally, the four giveaways were half of Miami’s previous season low of eight at Virginia Tech (1/11/15).
- The 86 points scored by the Hurricanes are the second most this season (high of 95 vs. Illinois State, 11/28/14). The last time Miami had 80-plus points was in a win at No. 23/22 Syracuse (2/12/15).
- In the first half, Miami limited Kelsey Plum, the nation’s seventh leading scorer, to four points on 1-of-7 (14.3 percent) shooting.
- With 30 points, Adrienne Motley set the school record in NCAA Tournament play (previous 28 by Riquna Williams vs. Gardner-Webb, 3/20/11, and Vicki Plowden vs. Vanderbilt, 3/26/92).
- Additionally, Motley’s performance placed her tied for second at Miami in NCAA Tournament action in made field goals (10) and made free throws (eight), tied for fifth in free throw attempts (10), seventh in field goal percentage (min. 10 FGA) (55.6 percent), tied for seventh in field goal attempts (18), and ninth in free throw percentage (min. 5 FTA) (80 percent).
- Motley scored in double figures for the 28th time in 32 games this season and posted 15-plus points for the 23rd time. Her 30 points were the second most in her career (32 vs. Notre Dame, 1/8/15). Motley’s 15 first half points were her second most before the break all season (high of 17 at NC State, 2/9/15). She has scored 15-plus in a half seven times in 2014-15.
- Adrienne Motley also tied her career highs in free throws made (eight) and attempted (10). She previously made eight at Virginia Tech (1/11/15) and attempted 10 against Notre Dame (1/8/15).
- Motley and Necole Sterling became the second and third Hurricanes to make multiple three-pointers in an NCAA Tournament contest without a miss. Motley, Sterling and Michelle Woods are now among 15 Hurricanes with multiple made three-pointers in an NCAA Tournament game.
- Woods’ 11 free throw attempts tied her with two others for the second most in NCAA Tournament play in program history, while her seven makes from the line tied her with two players for fifth. Jessica Thomas‘ 10 attempts put her in a tie for fifth with Motley and Shawnice Wilson, who also did so in Iowa City (3/24/13 vs. Iowa), while her six makes evened her with Carla Harris (3/21/92 home vs. North Carolina) for ninth.
- Michelle Woods also eclipsed 550 points as a collegian in the win.
- Thomas recorded five-plus rebounds for the fourth time in the last six games after having five-plus just twice in the first 57 games of her career. Thomas also reached 150 made field goals in her career and her six made three throws and 10 attempts both surpassed her prior career highs (five makes vs. LSU on 12/29/14, seven attempts at Oakland on 11/19/13).
- With 10 points in the first half, Necole Sterling scored double figures in a half for the fifth time this season. Her three assists in the game led the team and tied her season high (previously done multiple times, most recently at Pittsburgh, 2/1/15). She also surpassed 350 points and 1,000 minutes played in her two years as a Hurricane.
- Erykah Davenport‘s 13 rebounds were the most by any Hurricane all season, passing the 12 that Jassany Williams recorded twice (vs. Tulsa on 11/29/14 and at Virginia Tech on 1/11/15). Davenport’s 13 boards surpassed her prior career high of nine against Virginia (1/21/15).
- Davenport ended up tied with three others for seventh all-time at Miami in NCAA Tournament play with the 13 rebounds, while her eight defenive rebounded matched four others for sixth and her five offenive rebounds tied four others for eighth.
- Jassany Williams became the fifth Hurricane to block multiple shots in an NCAA Tournament game.
- Suriya McGuire moved into sole possession of fourth place on the Miami’s career participation list with 126 games played.