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Dec. 29, 2004

Box Score | 
Photo Gallery

CORAL GABLES, Fla. –
Junior Tamara James scored 26 points as the University of Miami women’s basketball team claimed the UM Holiday Classic Championship with a win over Loyola Marymount, 78-67, in Wednesday’s title game at the Convocation Center.

Following a 39-point outing in UM’s (7-5) win Tuesday against Fairfield in the tournament opener, James was named the tournament MVP with her game-high 26 points against LMU (5-7).

Freshman Albrey Grimsley recorded a personal-best 18 points to go along with a team-high five rebounds against the Lions, garnering the Ft. Pierce native all-tournament honors, followed by senior Yalonda McCormick who added 13 points for the Hurricanes.

Loyola Marymount’s Bianaca Ziemann led the Lions with 23 points while teammates Jacquelyn Woods and Valerie Ogoke each had 11 in the loss.

The Hurricanes capitalized on a 52 percent shooting performance from the field and took advantage of the Lion’s 25 turnovers and an 8-of-14 outing from the free throw line to remain undefeated at home this season with a mark of 6-0. The victory also gives UM their fourth-straight.

After trading baskets in the game’s opening minutes, LMU took an 11-8 lead at the 16:01 mark of the first half with a three by Ziemann and would keep the Hurricanes at-bay for the remainder of the half to take a 38-31 lead into the intermission.

Trailing by as much as eight with the start of the second half, a Grimsley bucket cut the LMU lead to one at 46-45 at the 12:37 mark.

Less than 30 seconds later, senior Fallon Phanord pulled down a rebound and dished it out to McCormick, who found James streaking down the court to give UM the 47-46 go-ahead basket.

James’ basket would become part of a 9-0 run as the Hurricanes distanced themselves from LMU.

The Lions fought back and brought the game within one point at 56-55 on a Woods basket with fewer than nine to play, but the Hurricanes responded by outscoring LMU 22-to-12 down the stretch to take the 78-67 victory.

Miami returns to action Jan. 2, taking on Coppin State at 12 noon at the Convocation Center.

UM Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team
Name – Team
Cigi McCollin – Hofstra
Candice Lindsay – Fairfield
Jacquelyn Woods – Loyola Marymount
Bianca Ziemann – Loyola Marymount
Albrey Grimsley – Miami

Tournament MVP
Tamara James Miami

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