Miami Falls to Florida in Overtime
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami women’s basketball team (7-4) fell short of the Florida Gators, 76-73, in overtime, Sunday afternoon at the Watsco Center.
“We’re going to feel really bad about this one,” head coach Katie Meier said. “I think it was ours to win, but Florida came and took it in the final minutes. They fought hard, they worked hard. I’m not saying we didn’t, but in big moments, we needed to come up with just a couple more special plays to win this one and we didn’t come up with them.”
Senior Haley Cavinder played her best game as a Hurricane, knocking down 10-of-14 shots from the field, including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc to total a season-high 25 points. Graduate student Destiny Harden joined Cavinder in double-figures with 18 points to go along with seven rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Freshman Lazaria Spearman recorded the second double-double of her career with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Florida (10-1) jumped out to an early 12-6 lead, but Haley Cavinder knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game at 12 with 3:33 to play in the first quarter. The Gilbert, Ariz., native carried her momentum into the second frame, totaling 16 first-half points on a perfect 6-of-6 from the field.
Both Miami and Florida posted just 10 points in the second quarter, giving the Hurricanes a 30-27 edge heading into halftime.
Haley Cavinder and Harden combined for 14 of Miami’s 19 points in the third quarter, giving the Hurricanes a six-point, 49-43, lead heading into the final 10 minutes. Harden’s seven points in the third put her into double figures for the eighth time this season.
The Gators rallied in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Hurricanes, 22-16, to force an overtime period.
The overtime period featured numerous trips to the charity stripe as both teams were in the bonus heading into overtime. Thirteen of the 19 points scored in overtime came at the free-throw line.
Florida’s KK Dean’s sunk four straight free throws to put the Gators ahead, 76-73, a lead they would keep to the end.
Miami opens its Atlantic Coast Conference slate on Wednesday, Dec. 21, when it heads north to take on Florida State at 12 p.m. in Tallahassee, Fla.