Hof Powers @CanesWBB to 89-75 Win vs. Indiana
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WINTER PARK, Fla. – The University of Miami women’s basketball team topped Indiana 89-75 Sunday night in the Florida Sunshine Classic at Warden Arena on the campus of Rollins College.
No. 23/21 Miami (11-1) erased an 11-point deficit to earn the victory behind a dominant performance by freshman forward/center Emese Hof in the first start of her career. The freshman logged a double-double with a career-high 26 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, while shooting 10-of-13 (76.9 percent) from the field and 6-of-7 (85.7 percent) at the free throw line.
“We liked her skill set against the multiple defenses that Indiana played. She allowed us to flow,” Miami head coach Katie Meier said. “She’s an amazing team player, but we really needed her to score a lot tonight and she did. Tonight was absolutely her night. It was part of the game plan. She was so successful I just didn’t even want to take her off the court. She did a great job.”
Hof had six points and five rebounds in the first four minutes of the game, immediately setting the tone for her performance. After a back-and-forth opening six minutes, Indiana (7-3) went on a 10-0 run to take a 22-14 edge with 2:29 left in the period, but Miami trimmed the deficit to six, 24-18, through 10 minutes of action.
Indiana opened the second period by extending its edge to 11, 29-18, but Miami had an immediate answer. Junior guard Jessica Thomas hit back-to-back 3-pointers to open a 14-0 run in a span of two minutes and 58 seconds—including 10 points in 1:24—to help the Hurricanes charge into the lead.
The Hurricanes hit 6-of-7 field goals during the run and held Indiana scoreless for three minutes and 17 seconds. Indiana then scored six unanswered points en route to a 40-39 advantage at halftime. Hoosier junior guard Alexis Gassion scored to beat the buzzer after a 3-pointer by freshman guard Laura Cornelius had put the Hurricanes back in front with 14 seconds on the clock.
Hof had a team-high 10 points and a game-high seven rebounds in the first half, while Indiana sophomore guard Tyra Buss led all players with 15 points before the intermission. The Hoosiers shot 6-of-11 (54.5 percent) from 3-point range in an opening 20 minutes that included 10 lead changes.
“We had a little bit of a heart-to-heart at halftime. I thought that we were a little bit flat. This team, we pour our hearts into what we do and we didn’t feel that way,” Meier said. “The halftime speech was one defensive adjustment and the rest was all our motivation and our spirit and how much we care about each other, to get that back. I was so happy with the response of Keyanna Harris and Erykah Davenport in the second half. They really gave us a great lift and they did what we needed them to do.”
The Hurricanes opened the third period on a 9-0 run in just one minute and 31 seconds to grab an eight-point advantage, 48-40, with 8:29 on the clock. After Indiana trimmed the lead back down to two, Miami went on a 16-4 run to go ahead 64-50 with 2:53 remaining in the period. The surge was capped by an 8-0 run that included 3-pointers by Cornelius and redshirt senior guard Michelle Woods.
Miami would take a 69-55 lead into the final frame after outscoring the Hoosiers 30-15 in the third period behind nine points from junior guard Adrienne Motley.
The Hurricanes stretched their lead up to as much as 18 in the final period before winning by the final 14-point margin. Miami’s 50 points in the second half were the most it has scored in a half all season and its 89 total was its most in a full game.
Hof was joined by four other Hurricanes with double figures in the scoring column in the win. Motley finished with 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting (57.1 percent), while adding five rebounds and a co-game-high four assists.
Thomas had 14 points and she too had four assists, while Cornelius posted 12 points and redshirt junior forward Keyona Hayes had 10.
“It’s just great balance. Somebody like Jessica Thomas—I thought she played like one of the nation’s premier point guards in this tournament,” Meier said. “It’s nice for her to do it kind of in her backyard, too. I’ve always said Jessica is our motor. She just grinds and grinds and grinds and grinds. She kept the tempo up and freed up Motley for a lot of her looks. I thought Laura Cornelius had the best game of her career as well.”
Indiana’s Buss led all scorers with 28 points, the most Miami has conceded to a player this season. Gassion logged 19 points and sophomore forward Amanda Cahill finished with 15.
The Hurricanes had a 44-31 edge in rebounds in the game, including 15-9 on the offensive glass. Miami also led 44-32 in points in the paint and doubled up the Hoosiers in second chance points, 14-7.
Motley and Thomas were both selected to the Florida Sunshine Classic All-Tournament Team. Motley averaged 21.0 points on 17-of-30 shooting (56.7 percent) from the field in the two games, while Thomas averaged 16.0 points on 13-of-26 shooting (50.0 percent).
Miami will have Monday off and then play its third game in four days Tuesday at 2 p.m. when it hosts FIU at the BankUnited Center.
For more information on the University of Miami women’s basketball program, follow @CanesWBB.
MIAMI HURRICANES POSTGAME NOTES
· Miami changed its starting lineup for the first time in 2015-16, with Hayes, Hof, Motley, Thomas and Woods opening the game.
· The all-time series between the Hurricanes and Hoosiers is now 2-1 in favor of Miami.
· Meier is now 270-180 in her 15 seasons as a head coach, including 194-135 in her 11 years at Miami.
· This was the 700th victory in Miami program history. The Hurricanes are 700-509 all-time.
· Miami has scored at least 70 points 10 times in 12 games, including 80-plus on five occasions. Miami has scored over 80 points in each of the last three games.
· The Hurricanes now have two victories over Big Ten teams this season, as Miami beat Illinois 73-64 Dec. 2.
· This was the fourth time Miami has trailed at halftime and won this season, as well as the fourth time it has overcome a deficit of at least 11 points to earn a victory.
· The Hurricanes’ 89 points topped their previous season best of 86 (vs. La Salle, 11/29/15).
· Prior to scoring 50 points in the second half against Indiana, Miami’s top total in a half this season was 46 in the first half against UMass Lowell (12/6/15).
· Miami’s first points in both halves were scored by Hof.
· Buss’ 28 points topped the 27 by Wright State’s Kim Demmings (11/13/15) that set the previous best by an opposing player against Miami this season.
· Hof scored in double figures for the sixth time and surpassed 100 points in her college career.
· The double-double was the second of Hof’s career and her 26 points passed her prior career best of 14 (at Loyola Chicago, 11/21/15).
· In addition, Hof’s 10 made field goals set a new career best (previous six, recorded multiple times, most recently vs. Illinois, 12/2/15), as did her 28 minutes played (previous high 26, also vs. Illinois).
· Hof also set new career highs in free throws made (six) and attempted (seven). Her prior top marks in both were four, with the four makes coming vs. La Salle (11/29/15) and the four attempts coming multiple times (most recently vs. Baylor, 12/19/15).
· Hayes eclipsed 600 points and 500 field goals attempted as a Hurricane. She also reached 450 rebounds.
· Thomas topped 600 points and 1,750 minutes played as a collegian.
· Cornelius’ four 3-pointers set a career best (previous high two, record multiple times, most recently vs. Baylor, 12/19/15). Her four made field goals matched her prior top mark (vs. Milwaukee, 11/27/15).
· Motley surpassed 1,100 points in her collegiate career.
· Motley scored 17-plus points for the eighth time this season and has logged at least 13 in 10 games.
· Woods moved past 650 points as a Hurricane and matched her season high with 34 minutes played (previous vs. Baylor, 12/19/15).