@CanesWBB Meets South Dakota St. in NCAA Round One
12 – South Dakota St.vs.5 – Miami
|Saturday, March 19, 2016 • 6:30 p.m. ET|
|Stanford, Calif. • Maples Pavilion|
|Game Notes: Miami • SD State|
Bob Picozzi & Mary Murphy
|Live Stats | Tournament Bracket|
|Social Media: Facebook • Twitter • Instagram|
Miami, ranked No. 19 in both The Associated Press Poll and the USA TODAY Coaches Poll, will open the 2016 NCAA Tournament Saturday against South Dakota State at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, Calif. The fifth-seeded Hurricanes and 12th-seeded Jackrabbits will square off at 6:30 p.m. ET.
The Hurricanes and Jackrabbits have never met each other before. South Dakota State is the fifth team Miami will play this season it has not previously faced; the Hurricanes won the prior four games.
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 two-time 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 seven-year stretch ever, making the postseason in all seven season, with five NCAA Tournament appearances. This year, Meier has already guided the Hurricanes to their sixth 20-win campaign in the past seven seasons.
Meier has led 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 283-187, including 207-142 at Miami.
South Dakota State enters the NCAA Tournament at 26-6 overall and went 13-3 in Summit League play. The Jackrabbits beat South Dakota to win their seventh conference tournament title in the past eight years. Sophomore guard Macy Miller is the team’s leader in scoring and assists, at 15.3 and 2.8 per game, respectively. Junior guard/forward Kerri Young averages 10.6 points, while freshman guard Madison Guebert posts 10.4 points an outing and sophomore forward Ellie Thompson is tallying 10.2 points and 6.6 rebounds, second-most on the team, per game.
Last Time Out
The Hurricanes turned in a stellar effort against No. 2/3 Notre Dame in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament March 5 before falling 78-67 to the eventual conference champion. Thomas connected on five 3-pointers for the second game in a row and logged a co-game-high 17 points in the defeat. Woods added 13 points and Motley posted 10. ACC Player of the Year Brianna Turner, a sophomore forward, paced the Fighting Irish with 17 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
If Miami defeats the Jackrabbits, it will face either fourth-seeded Stanford or 13th-seeded San Francisco Monday at a time to be determined in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.