@MiamiWBB Falls to Iowa in NCAA Second Round
IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Miami women’s basketball team’s superb season came to an end Sunday afternoon, as the Hurricanes fell to No. 3 seed Iowa in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa senior center Bethany Doolittle led all scorers with 22 points and pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds, as the Hawkeyes downed No. 11 seed Miami, 88-70.
“I told my team, we’re quite young and they have got some great experience, and I think that showed, and that the mental toughness, they were just sharper than us in key moments, key plays,” Miami head coach Katie Meier said. “. . . We are going to learn from that, because I made Jessica [Thomas] stay out there and watch that celebration. I want us to be a Sweet 16 team and I want us to know what it feels like. We’re not quite ready, but we’ve got to get mentally tougher, and when we do, we’re going to be celebrating, as well.”
Thomas, a sophomore guard, paced Miami (20-13, 8-8 ACC) in the first half, scoring 11 points in the opening 20 minutes and playing quality defense as well.
The Gainesville, Fla. native hit a three-pointer with 4:44 left in the half to put Miami up by four, 27-23, but Iowa (26-7) surged to the break. The Hawkeyes outscored the Hurricanes 15-4 the rest of the session and led 38-31 as the teams went to the locker rooms.
Iowa made all 12 of its free throws in the first frame, while Miami got just one point at the line before the intermission on two attempts.
After being held to four points in the first half, sophomore guard Adrienne Motley came out scorching hot in the second. She scored 14 points in the first 6:15 of the half, connecting on 6-of-7 shots from the field and 2-of-3 from the line.
The Hurricanes got the deficit down to three, three times in the first five minutes of the second half, all on baskets by Motley. However, after the third time, which made it 46-43 with 15:21 to go, the Hawkeyes responded with a run to stretch their lead.
Iowa built its advantage up to 14, 69-55, with 8:42 on the clock. Miami continued to battle though, just as it has all season. The Hurricanes scored eight straight points, including a three-pointer by Thomas and a three-point play by senior forward Necole Sterling, to cut the margin to six, 69-63 with 7:27 to go.
Feeding off the crowd in their home building, Iowa countered with an 8-0 run to get its lead back to 14 with 4:58 remaining and despite its best efforts, Miami was unable to come back.
The Hawkeyes shot 18-of-24 in the second half en route to an 88-70 victory to advance to the Sweet 16.
“They ended up being 75 percent in the half and 60 percent from the three, and I guess we should have started fouling at halftime because the only thing they did wrong was miss a couple free throws,” Meier said with a bit of a laugh. “They were really moving the ball, they were doing a great job.”
Thomas led Miami with 20 points and played a career-high 37 minutes. Motley finished with 18 points on 50 percent shooting. Sterling scored 15 points in her last game as a Hurricane and led the team with a season-high seven rebounds.
In addition to Doolittle, four other Hawkeyes finished with double figures, including sophomore guard Ally Disterhoft with 15. With the win, Iowa went 18-0 at home this season.
“If this was going to happen and we were going to lose, at least I have the utmost respect for the program that we lost to and I’m really happy for them and I wish them the best of luck,” Meier said.
The Hurricanes went 20-13 in the 2014-15 season, the fifth time in the last six years they posted 20-plus wins. This was the sixth straight postseason trip for Miami, including NCAA Tournament appearances in four of the last five seasons, with victories in three of those trips.
MIAMI HURRICANES POSTGAME NOTES
- For the second time this season, Miami’s starters were Adrienne Motley, Necole Sterling, Jessica Thomas, Jassany Williams, and Michelle Woods. The other time this starting five was used was in a win at Virginia Tech on 2/5/15.
- The all-time series between Miami and Iowa now favors the Hawkeyes, 4-0.
- Katie Meier’s record moves to 259-179 in her 14 seasons as a head coach.
- Meier is now 183-134 in her 10 years at Miami.
- Additionally, Meier’s career NCAA Tournament record is now 3-5, including 3-4 at Miami. Her three NCAA Tournament wins at Miami are the most by any head coach in program history.
- Iowa became the first school the Hurricanes have ever faced multiple times in NCAA Tournament play.
- The Hurricanes’ 24 personal fouls matched the most in program history in NCAA Tournament play, tying a game that happened exactly 12 years ago (at New Mexico, 3/22/03).
- This was the final game as a Hurricane for seniors Suriya McGuire, Necole Sterling and Jassany Williams.
- Williams became the second player in program history with multiple blocked shots in multiple NCAA Tournament games and Erykah Davenport became the eighth with at least one in multiple contests. Williams’ two blocks put her in a four-way tie for fourth on Miami’s NCAA Tournament single game blocks list.
- Necole Sterling‘s 54.5 percent (6-of-11) mark from the floor is good for eighth place in an NCAA Tournament game in program history.
- Sterling scored double figures in consecutive games for the second time this season (previous 1/15/15 vs. Clemson and 1/18/15 at Duke). Also, her team-leading seven rebounds were a season high (previous six, done multiple times, most recently at Louisville, 1/25/15).
- Adrienne Motley and Jessica Thomas tied four others for ninth place among Hurricanes in an NCAA Tournament contest with eight made field goals.
- Motley scored in double figures for the 29th time in 33 games and posted 15-plus points for the 24th time. Motley recorded 15-plus points in a half eight times this season. She also reached 900 points and 150 assists in the first two years of her career at Miami.
- Jessica Thomas‘ 20 points tied her for the 13th most in an NCAA Tournament game in program history and she became the 16th Hurricane to reach that number. Additonally, her 11 three-point attempts are a program NCAA Tournament record, her three made three-pointers are tied for third and her 22 field goal attempts rank tied for fourth.
- Thomas surpassed 450 points in her two years as a Hurricane and her 37 minutes played are a career-high (previous 36, done multiple times, most recently vs. Notre Dame, 3/6/15).
- Michelle Woods tied nine others for ninth place in program history in NCAA Tournament action with three steals.
- This was the 127th game played for Suriya McGuire, moving her into a tie for third place on the program’s all-time list. In addition, McGuire surpassed 450 rebounds in her career.