Canes Open Postseason with Win over Boston College
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Ahead of its opener in the 2023 Ally ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament, Miami head coach Katie Meier made a point to remind her team of its resiliency.
More than once this season, the Hurricanes have handled the task of winning close games.
That trend continued in Greensboro – and now, so will Miami’s run in the tournament.
Behind an efficient fourth-quarter effort from sophomore Lashae Dwyer, the Hurricanes notched an 84-69 win over Boston College on Thursday night at the Greensboro Coliseum.
With the victory, sixth-seeded Miami – which outscored BC 24-13 in the fourth – advances to a Friday night quarterfinal where it will face third-seeded Virginia Tech.
Dwyer’s fourth-quarter performance was a big reason why.
The guard scored 10 of her team-high 19 points in the fourth to lead four Hurricanes in double figures. Lola Pendande added 15 points and eight rebounds, while Haley Cavinder had 14 points and nine rebounds. Destiny Harden added 13 points and nine rebounds.
“What the team needed tonight was Lashae Dwyer’s grittiness and toughness and pressure on the ball and [her readiness] to step up and take it,” Meier said. “We talked about toughness being contagious and you’re not tough alone and I thought we were very, very together. And I thought Boston College – toughness. When you play Boston College, you’d better be tough. I have a lot of respect for that program.”
And while Miami (19-11, 11-7) was able to pull away late in the fourth, much of the first half was a back-and-forth between the Hurricane and Eagles, who traded baskets on multiple possessions and saw the lead change hands six times.
Things got better for the Hurricanes in the second half.
Miami opened the third on a 8-2 run to take a 47-40 lead and from there out, tried to do its best to stave the Eagles (16-17, 5-13).
In the early minutes of the fourth, Boston College pulled within five when T’yana Todd scored on a fast-break with 7:02 left, but the Hurricanes scored six straight on the strength of baskets from Dwyer, Harden and Pendande to build a double-digit lead that proved too much for the Eagles to overcome.
“This game means a lot to me because I was just ready when my number was called,” Dwyer said. “My teammates put their trust in me to just keep feeding the hot hand. I’m thankful for them, for [how they keep] pushing me in practice and in the games, too.”
The Hurricanes will now face a Virginia Tech team that has won eight straight and is ranked No. 8 in the AP Top 25.
Earlier this season, though, Miami defeated the Hokies 77-66.
“I think Virginia Tech is one of the most talented teams in the country. I have mad respect for them and I know they’re very difficult to defend,” Meier said. “I think it’s kind of good that we put some points up there tonight and got some confident kids because you can’t keep that team in the 40s or the 50s. They’re too talented. We’re going to try, though.”