@CanesWBB Opens ACC Tournament vs. Pittsburgh
PittsburghatNo. 21/21 Miami
|Wednesday, March 3, 2016 • 11 a.m. ET|
|Greensboro, N.C. • Greensboro Coliseum|
|Press Conference • Game Notes: Miami|
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The Hurricanes, ranked No. 21 in both The Associated Press Poll and the USA TODAY Coaches Poll, are set to begin ACC Tournament play Thursday at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C. Miami, the fifth seed in the field, will take on 12th-seeded Pittsburgh at 11 a.m.
Miami has an 18-9 advantage in the all-time series against the Panthers after winning six of the past seven meetings. The teams have never met in the ACC Tournament, but Pittsburgh held a 2-1 advantage in BIG EAST Tournament action. Miami won this year’s regular season matchup, coming away with a 79-55 home victory on Jan. 7, 2016.
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 Blue Ribbon Panel First Team All-ACC 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 five new players in the fold this season in guard Laura Cornelius, forward/center Emese Hof, forward/center Zada Williams, guard/forward Shaneese Bailey and guard Neydja Petithomme. Bailey and Petithomme are sitting out this season as transfers from Florida Atlantic and Auburn, respectively.
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 four NCAA Tournament appearances. This season, Meier has already guided the Hurricanes to their sixth 20-win campaign in the past seven seasons.
Meier has guided Miami to 63 victories in ACC play since the start of the 2010-11 season, 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 281-186, including 205-141 at Miami.
The Panthers are 13-17 (4-12 ACC) on the season and earned their first-ever ACC Tournament victory with an 82-72 overtime triumph over North Carolina Wednesday afternoon. Forward Brenna Wise, an All-ACC Freshman Team pick, leads the Panthers in both scoring and rebounding at 10.5 points and 7.6 boards per game. Sophomore forward Yacine Diop also averages double-digit points per game at 10.2 per contest.
Last Time Out
The Hurricanes dropped a 70-67 decision on the road at then-No. 12/12 Florida State. Miami led for over 31 minutes of action and shot 25-of-54 (46.3 percent) from the field. Motley led the Hurricanes with 18 points, while Thomas added 14 and Hayes posted 10 to go along with her nine rebounds. Davenport had a superb all-around game with nine points, seven rebounds and a game- and career-high five steals. Miami outrebounded the Seminoles for the second time this season; Florida State has led on the boards in all but three of its other 27 games.
If the Hurricanes defeat the Panthers, they will face No. 14/10 Florida State, the ACC Tournament’s fourth seed, Friday at 11 a.m. in the quarterfinals.