@CanesWBB at Virginia for First ACC Road Game
No. 20/22 MiamiatVirginia
|Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016 • 1 p.m. ET|
|Charlottesville, Va. • John Paul Jones Arena|
|Game Notes: Miami • Virginia|
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The Hurricanes, ranked No. 22 in the AP Poll and No. 20 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll, open their ACC road slate Sunday afternoon at Virginia. The Hurricanes and Cavaliers will square off at 1 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va.
Miami is behind 8-7 in the all-time series against the Cavaliers, but has won six of the last seven matchups, including each of the past three. The Hurricanes topped Virginia twice last season, most recently earning a 62-52 win on March 5, 2015 in the second round of the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C.
Eight Hurricanes are back from a team that reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2014-15. That group includes a trio of starters who are now the team captains: junior guard Adrienne Motley, a Naismith Trophy Early Season Watch List selection, junior guard Jessica Thomas and redshirt senior guard Michelle Woods.
One of the eight returnees is redshirt junior forward Keyona Hayes, who missed last season due to an ankle injury after leading the team in rebounding in 2013-14. The Hurricanes also have a quartet of sophomores in forward/center Erykah Davenport, guard Nigia Greene (redshirt sophomore), forward Keyanna Harris and forward Khaila Prather.
Additionally, Miami has four new players in the fold this season in guard Laura Cornelius, forward/center Emese Hof, forward/center Zada Williams and guard/forward Shaneese Bailey, who will sit out the season as a transfer from Florida Atlantic.
Katie Meier, in her 11th season in Coral Gables, Fla., has led Miami to great heights during her tenure. Since 2009-10, the Wheaton, Ill., native has directed the program to its greatest six-year stretch ever, making the postseason in all six years, with five 20-plus win seasons and four NCAA Tournament appearances.
Meier has guided Miami to 54 victories in ACC play over the past five seasons, the second-most of any team in the conference. The 2010-11 AP National Coach of the Year is in her 15th season as a head coach, spending the first four at Charlotte, and owns a career record of 272-180, including 196-135 at Miami.
Virginia enters the game at 10-4 on the season and Sunday’s contest will be its ACC opener. Four Cavaliers are averaging double-digit points per game, with sophomore guard Mikalya Venson leading the way at 15.1 points an outing. Senior guard Faith Randolph, a Preseason All-ACC selection, is second on Virginia in scoring, posting 13.8 points per game to go along with a team-high 3.0 assists. The Cavaliers were tabbed eighth in the ACC preseason poll after going 17-14 (7-9) ACC during the 2014-15 campaign.
Last Time Out
Miami rolled to its largest ACC win in nearly two full years with a 73-44 victory over NC State Wednesday at the BankUnited Center to win its ACC opener for the fourth season in a row. Cornelius scored a game- and career-high 20 points in just 24 minutes of action, as she knocked down all six of her 3-point attempts. Thomas posted 14 points, five rebounds and a co-game-high four assists, while Woods added 11 points in the win. Miami had a 27-13 lead in bench scoring and a 26-10 edge in points in the paint.
The Hurricanes return home to Coral Gables, Fla., and face Pittsburgh at the BUC on Thursday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m.