Miami Rolls to 83-53 Exhibition Win over NSU
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami women’s basketball team began its 2015-16 season with an 83-53 victory in its exhibition contest Wednesday against Nova Southeastern.
Redshirt senior guard Michelle Woods led the way with 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting the Hurricanes, who jumped out to a 9-0 lead at the BankUnited Center and never looked back.
“Nova is a very good team. They’re very hard to guard and I felt like we needed to outwork them,” Miami head coach Katie Meier said. “They’re so dangerous with their ability to hit the three and so it was one of those deals where we had to play with a ton of mental conditioning. The physical conditioning is one thing, but the mental conditioning of the four quarters of the game and the runs.”
Miami jumped out to a quick start, seizing control from the opening tip. Eight Hurricanes scored in the game’s opening quarter, during which the team shot 47.6 percent from the field and limited Nova Southeastern to an 18.8 percent clip.
Through 10 minutes of action, Miami held a 22-8 advantage over the Sharks, who have made the NCAA Division II Elite Eight each of the past three seasons.
After starting the second period slowly, the Hurricanes picked up their play before the break and took a 36-18 edge into the locker room. Redshirt junior forward Keyona Hayes, who missed the 2014-15 season with an ankle injury, led the team with seven points before the intermission.
“There’s not a call on the board that I can’t call [and that is] because she’s in,” Meier said of having Hayes back. “Sometimes we’re double-big so we can’t run our small lineup, sometimes we’re small so we don’t run the big lineup, but when Keyona is in I can call anything, any of the packages.”
The Sharks got their offense flowing in the third quarter, connecting on 8-of-13 (61.5 percent) shots from the floor in the quarter to narrowly chip away at Miami’s lead, cutting the deficit to 16, 57-1.
Miami quickly pushed its lead over 20 early in the fourth quarter, using 3-pointers by junior guard Jessica Thomas and Woods during a 9-2 run to go up 67-43. The Hurricanes led by 20-plus for the final 8:27 of play en route to the 30-point win.
The Hurricanes, who did not trail at any point in the contest, held the Sharks to 31.0 percent shooting and forced them into 33 attempts from 3-point range, with just nine makes (27.3 percent). Miami finished with a 52.9 percent mark from the field.
All 10 Hurricanes who played scored and half had double figures. Along with Woods, junior guard Adrienne Motley scored 12 points, while Hayes, Thomas and sophomore forward/center Erykah Davenport each added 11. Woods was also the game’s leader in rebounds (eight) and co-leader assists (four) in addition to points.
“I liked that we can play out an exhausted six minutes and bring in five new players while the other team is tired and I think that showed up in the fourth quarter certainly,” Meier said. “We could sub five and it deflates the other team when we sub five and don’t really skip a beat. I thought our bench was very good.”
Senior guard Alexis Murphy paced the Sharks with 12 points and senior forward Molly Blomer chipped in with 11.
The Hurricanes had a 52-12 edge in scoring in the paint and led 48-29 in rebounds, including 23-9 in the final 20 minutes.
Miami will open the 2015-16 regular season Nov. 13 at 11 a.m. when it hosts Wright State at the BankUnited Center.
For more information on the University of Miami women’s basketball team, follow @CanesWBB.
MIAMI HURRICANES POSTGAME NOTES
· The Hurricanes starting lineup included Davenport, Hayes, Motley, Thomas and Woods.
· Cornelius and fellow freshmen Emese Hof and Zada Williams all saw their first action as Hurricanes.
· Hof was the lone player on either team to record multiple blocks.
· In the first half, Cornelius, a 5-foot-8 guard, had a game-high six rebounds.
· Four Hurricanes recorded at least a half dozen rebounds: Woods (eight), Cornelius
(seven), Davenport (six) and Hayes (six).
· Miami limited Nova Southeastern to 12 or fewer points in three of the four quarters.
· The Hurricanes had a 24-13 edge in bench scoring.