@CanesWBB Downs TTU to Win Thanksgiving Tournament
Texas Tech5674No. 21/22 Miami
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— Canes Women’s BBall (@CanesWBB) November 27, 2016
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami women’s basketball team defeated Texas Tech, 74-56, Sunday afternoon at the Watsco Center to win the Miami Thanksgiving Tournament championship.
Sophomore guard Laura Cornelius, in her first game since Nov. 16, scored a career-high 22 points and shot 6-of-10 from 3-point range to lead No. 21/22 Miami (5-1) to its fifth straight victory.
“Laura and Emese [Hof] got to play for their senior national team, they got to play in front of their home crowd, they won a big game against Estonia,” Miami head coach Katie Meier said of the Dutch duo’s participation 2017 FIBA EuroBasket Qualifiers. “Laura played in France against the best point guard in the world right now, which is Céline Dumerc. There is nothing I could have done to give her that much confidence. She played great, they came back confident.”
The Hurricanes held Texas Tech (3-2) scoreless for the first three minutes and 27 seconds, grabbing an early 6-0 lead. Miami would go on to take a 13-9 lead after one period, with Cornelius connecting on a 3-pointer on her fist shot of the game.
Miami extended its lead to as many as 13 points in the second session, but the Lady Raiders scored the final five points of the frame and the Hurricanes’ edge was trimmed to eight, 31-23, at halftime. Cornelius led all scorers at the break with nine points, coming on 3-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc.
Texas Tech kept its strong play going to open the second half, stretching its run to 14-0 and taking a 32-31 advantage with 6:17 left in the third period. Miami quickly countered with nine consecutive points in the next two minutes to re-take a lead it would not relinquish. The Hurricanes had a seven-point cushion, 50-43, through 30 minutes of action.
Miami continued its offensive surge in the fourth period and pushed its lead up to 21 points, en route to claiming the 74-56 triumph.
Along with Cornelius, who tied for the fourth-most made threes in a game in program history and hit six of her first eight attempts, three other Hurricanes also scored in double figures. Redshirt senior forward Keyona Hayes, the tournament MVP, logged the 11th double-double of her career, and her second in three games, with 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Adrienne Motley, who joined Cornelius on the all-tournament team, notched 14 points and posted three blocks—including two in a span of four seconds—to eclipse her season total of two in 2015-16. Fellow senior guard Jessica Thomas had 10 points and a game-high four assists in the victory, and she also tied Desma Thomas (1992-97) for fifth on Miami’s career 3-pointers attempted list with 463.
“I thought that we [showed we] can adapt,” Meier said of her team’s performance in the Miami Thanksgiving Tournament. “That is one thing about a veteran team; not only do they know the system, but they know the wrinkles. When you have a team that gets the wrinkles, [that is big]. It is still November and we understand the third look in a play.”
Freshman guard Arella Guirantes paced Texas Tech with 14 points, while junior center Jada Terry added 11. Miami limited sophomore guard Recee’ Caldwell, averaging 21.0 points per game, to just eight points on 2-of-12 (16.7 percent) shooting.
The Hurricanes trailed for a total of eight seconds in the game and led for all but 35 seconds of the contest.
Miami will be back in action Thursday at 7 p.m., when it faces eighth-ranked Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio, as a part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
MIAMI HURRICANES POSTGAME NOTES
· The Hurricanes are now 21-1 (.955) all-time in Miami Thanksgiving Tournament/Classic play, with 16 consecutive victories.
· Motley, who now has 1,487 points, passed Chanivia Broussard for ninth place on Miami’s all-time scoring list.
· Hayes surpassed 850 points and 600 rebounds as a Hurricanes, Motley recorded the 100th start of her career and eclipsed 400 rebounds and Hof, a sophomore forward/center, reached 300 points as a collegian.
· The tournament MVP was Miami’s Hayes, while the Miami Thanksgiving All-Tournament Team included Miami’s Cornelius and Motley, Texas Tech’s Guirantes, Fordham’s G’mrice Davis and Grambling State’s Shkyla Hill.
· Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow, the No. 10 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, was in attendance for the game.