Harden Brings the Energy to Florida State
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Double-double Destiny is back.
Redshirt junior Destiny Harden recorded her third double-double of the season on Thursday against Virginia Tech, posting 20 points and 12 rebounds in the contest.
“Destiny was a monster for us,” head coach Katie Meier said. “Endia [Banks] and Naomi [Mbandu] were a little disjointed, so Destiny stepped up and I am really proud of her. She stayed in the game plan and did a heck of a job.”
It’s been an up and down year for Harden as the forward started the season strong, scoring in double-figures in four of her first five games. Through the first seven games of the season, Harden was averaging 11.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
Heading into the new year, the Chicago, Ill., native hit a bit of a slump and saw her numbers dip on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Through the next seven games, Harden posted 3.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per contest.
“Destiny needed to simplify her game,” according to Meier. “In the 10-day break, she went back to being the player that she was at the beginning of the season.”
The work paid off as Harden has posted double-digit rebounds in back-to-back games and is averaging 13.5 points and 12.0 rebounds over the last two games.
Harden has made a concerted effort to bring the energy to practices and games over the last few weeks in order to keep her team in a positive mindset.
“I tried to bring some positivity back to the team,” Harden said. “We just have to keep encouraging each other on the court and keep talking to each other.”
But for the forward, at the end of the day, it is about playing Miami basketball.
“We just have to stick to the game plan and play Miami basketball,” Harden said. “Every time we play Miami basketball as a team, we do well. We have to keep believing in ourselves and keeping each other accountable for everything that we do.”
The Canes will need to play Miami basketball to beat Florida State for the second time this season when they face the Seminoles on Sunday.
“This is a really tough week with four games in eight days,” Meier said. “We are going to have to take it one game at a time and are going to have to play really hard in games and focus hard in practice because we can’t waste our energy.”
Harden knows that getting a win on Sunday is critical.
“We have to go hard in practices and give it our all in the next few ACC games,” the forward said. “We have to keep playing basketball and never give up.”
Sunday’s contest will be the 64th meeting between the two schools, with the Seminoles holding the 47-16 series edge. The Canes are 4-21 when playing the Seminoles in Tallahassee, Fla.
The game is slated to tipoff at 2 p.m. and will air on ACC Network with Jenn Hildreth and Kelly Gramlich on the call. Fans can also listen to the game on WVUM 90.5.