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Find a Way to Win

by Megan Barnes

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – We have to find a way to win ugly.

That’s what head coach Katie Meier told her team following Miami’s 71-60 loss to Notre Dame on Thursday.

The Canes showed grit and effort in the game, coming back from down 11 at the start of the third quarter to within two just two minutes into the frame. However, the Fighting Irish shot 54.5 percent from 3-point range in the second half to take the victory.

“The effort is there, but we’re not hitting shots,” Meier said. “We’re going to get in the gym and keep working.”

While the team as a whole struggled offensively on Thursday, senior guard Endia Banks had one of her “best games in a Miami uniform,” according to Meier.

The Duluth, Ga., native poured in a season-high 18 points to go along with five assists, three steals and two rebounds. Banks also tied her career-high with three 3-pointers in the contest.

“Endia Banks played out of her mind,” Meier said. “We made her a captain for the game and started her for the first time this year. She had good energy this week and was really leading the team. For Endia to step up like that, I think it was important for us.”

For Banks, she was just taking what the defense gave her.

“The defense gave me 3-point shots and jump shots and I’ve been working on my 3-point game,” Banks said. “So, I just tried to step up and knock them down for my team.”

The Canes will need another strong performance from Banks to best the Clemson Tigers on Sunday. Clemson enters the contest with an 8-1 overall record and a 3-1 mark in ACC play, good for a third-place standing in the conference.

“We have to come out like we did at the beginning of the [Notre Dame] game,” Banks said. “We need to play hard and stay focused. Clemson is a tough team and they rebound hard, so we need to match their intensity and give it all we have.”

Miami and Clemson have met 21 times in program history, with Miami holding the 13-8 series advantage, including an 13-5 mark in ACC play. The Canes have won seven of the last 10 meetings and are 6-3 against Clemson when playing at home.

The Canes and the Tigers met three times in 2019-20, marking the most contests between the pair of programs in a single season, dating back to the first showdown in 1981. Miami won the season series 2-1, but Clemson came out on top in the last meeting with a 71-56 victory over the Canes at the ACC Tournament.

Sunday’s game is set to tipoff at 12 p.m. and the game will air on ACC Network with Sam Ravech and Monica McNutt on the call.