@CanesWBB Dominates Pitt in ACC Tournament
Pittsburgh5577No. 21/21 Miami
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GREENSBORO, N.C. – The University of Miami women’s basketball team turned in one of its best performances of the season Thursday in the second round of the ACC Tournament, rolling past Pittsburgh, 77-55.
No. 21/21 Miami (23-7, 10-6 ACC), the fifth seed in the field, shot a season-best 60.0 percent (33-of-55) from the field and led the 12th-seeded Panthers by double-digit points the entire second half at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Junior guard Adrienne Motley led all scorers with 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting (57.1 percent). Redshirt junior forward Keyona Hayes posted 18 points, a team-high seven rebounds and shot a perfect 9-of-9 from the field, the best mark by a Hurricane this season.
“She makes it so easy to coach a game. She’s a great matchup for us,” Miami head coach Katie Meier said of Hayes. “It helps me offensively to have that player who can hit a jumper and then go inside and finish with contact. It made it a lot easier for me today.”
Six different Hurricanes scored in the first period to help Miami build an 18-12 lead over Pittsburgh (13-18, 4-12 ACC) through 10 minutes of action.
Miami, which had a first round bye Wednesday, went on an 18-2 run during the second quarter to push its advantage to 19 points, 38-19, with 30.4 seconds left before the break. The Hurricanes conceded just two points in the final five minutes of the half and led 38-21 entering the locker room.
Motley had a game-high nine points at halftime to pace Miami, which shot 17-of-27 (63.0 percent) from the field during the opening 20 minutes, marking its best first half shooting percentage of the season. On the other end, the Hurricanes limited the Panthers to a 9-of-29 (31.0 percent) clip.
Miami stretched its lead to as many as 22 points in the third period, using a 12-2 run to take a 55-33 edge with three minutes and 31 seconds left before the fourth quarter. Both Motley and junior guard Jessica Thomas connected on 3-pointers during the Miami run. The Hurricanes would go on to take a 57-40 advantage into the final session.
The Panthers pulled within 11 in the fourth period, but Laura Cornelius knocked down a 3-pointer to stretch the lead back up to 14 and Miami never looked back. The freshman guard’s shot started a 15-4 run to close the game for the Hurricanes, who held Pittsburgh without a point for the last three minutes.
In addition to Motley and Hayes, both freshman forward/center Emese Hof and redshirt senior guard Michelle Woods finished with double figures in the scoring column. Each recorded 11 points, with Hof also pulling down five rebounds, tied for the second-most on the team.
“We got a lot of clean looks because of our ball movement, but it’s the balance,” Meier said of her team’s stellar offensive performance. “Everybody was so reliable. It allowed us as a coaching staff to go inside-out and ride a hot player. When we called their numbers, they really came through.”
Sophomore forward Yacine Diop and freshman forward Brenna Wise led Pittsburgh with 17 points apiece in the defeat. Miami limited the Panthers to 22-of-56 shooting (39.3 percent).
The Hurricanes had a 40-18 edge in points in the paint and led 33-23 in rebounding. Miami also outrebounded Pittsburgh, 33-23, had a 21-10 advantage in assists and did not have a single shot blocked.
Miami will now take on No. 14/10 Florida State, the fourth seed in the field, Friday at 11 a.m. in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals.
For more information on University of Miami women’s basketball, follow @CanesWBB.
MIAMI HURRICANES POSTGAME NOTES
· For the 16th time in 2015-16 and the second game in a row, Miami’s starting lineup consisted of Erykah Davenport, Hayes, Motley, Thomas and Woods.
· The all-time series between the Miami and Pittsburgh is now 19-9 in favor of the Hurricanes, who have won seven of the past eight meetings.
· This was the first time the Hurricanes and Panthers met in ACC Tournament play. Pittsburgh had a 2-1 lead on Miami in BIG EAST Tournament action.
· Meier is now 282-186 in her 15 seasons as a head coach, including 206-141 in her 11 years at Miami.
· This is the first time Miami has won an ACC Tournament game in back-to-back seasons in its 12 years in the conference. The Hurricanes defeated Virginia, 62-52, in the second round in 2015-16.
· The Hurricanes are now 5-11 all-time in ACC Tournament play, including 3-1 against double-digit seeds, 4-4 as the higher seed and 2-1 as the No. 5 seed.
· Miami has now won 17 games by double digits this season, including 10 by 20-plus points.
· This is the 17th time Miami has scored 70-plus points this season and the first since 1/17/16 at North Carolina. The Hurricanes reached 70 points 12 times in 2014-15.
· At 60.0 percent from the field, Miami set a new season best for field goal percentage (previous high 52.5 percent, vs. Pittsburgh, 1/7/16).
· Miami shot more than twice as well as the Panthers from the field in the first half, posting a 63.0 percent clip and holding Pittsburgh to a 31.0 percent mark.
· The Hurricanes’ 63.0 field goal percentage in the first half was its second best in a half all season, trailing only its second half clip of 64.0 percent (16-of-25) against Pittsburgh (1/7/16) earlier this season.
· Miami trailed Pittsburgh for just one minute and 23 seconds of action.
· Woods tied Robin Harmony and Riquna Williams for sixth place on the Hurricanes’ all-time appearances list with 125 games played.
· Woods, who surpassed 750 points as a collegian, scored in double figures for the eighth time this season and the first time since Miami’s regular season meeting against Pittsburgh (1/7/16).
· Hayes’ 9-of-9 mark from the field was the best shooting performance of the season, surpassing her own mark from earlier this season, also against Pittsburgh, (7-of-7 on 1/7/16). She shot 16-of-16 against the Panthers in 2015-16.
· Hayes’ nine field goals made all set a new season high (pevious high eight, vs. Wake Forest, 1/14/16).
· Hayes posted double-digit points for the 12th time this season. Eight of those outings have come against ACC teams.
· Motley has scored at least a dozen points in 25 of 30 games this season and has recorded 17-plus points 18 times.
· Motley passed Morgan Stroman for No. 12 on Miami’s all-time scoring list. She has 1,377 points in her career.
· Hof scored in double figures for the 10th time in her freshman campaign, including the fourth time against an ACC opponent and the third time in the last five games.
· Thomas tallied at least four assists for the 16th time in 2015-16 and had five-plus for the eighth time.