The hard fought battle bore no rewards against Notre Dame as the ‘Canes (16-2, 5-2 in the Big East) were defeated 59-50 Wednesday night in the Convocation Center.
Wednesday marked the 15th meeting between the two schools. Notre Dame (12-7, 5-2) now leads the series 12-3. The ‘Canes have only had success once against the Irish in Coral Gables.
The Hurricanes were ranked No. 17 nationally and second in the Big East behind UConn coming into Wednesday’s game. They will undoubtedly drop in the national polls and vie for third place in the conference.
“Obviously we’re very disappointed with what happened tonight,” said Head Coach Ferne Labati. “We were very tentative tonight. We really didn’t play our game.”
The ‘Canes finished shooting just 37 percent overall, while the Irish managed 44.2 percent. Notre Dame was highly successful at the line, connecting on 81.8 percent of its shots.
Things didn’t look so bleak at halftime, however. The first half was close after the ‘Canes jumped out to an early lead with a Chanivia Broussard basket. Miami widened its lead to 18-11 after a Shaquana Wilkins fast break. Notre Dame was able to remain in it, but the ‘Canes finished the half still leading 28-26. Wilkins and Imani Dhahabu each had six points, while Wilkins added five rebounds. McCormick led the half with five assists and a block.
In the second half, Miami lost much of its momentum fairly quickly. A few controversial calls, coupled with a breakout game from the Irish’s Jacqueline Batteast and Megan Duffy, helped Notre Dame hold onto its lead for the remainder of the contest. UM leading scorer Tamara James finished with 12 points.
“We all had it in our minds that we were going to go out and play hard,” James said. “We just had a bad game, I mean, teams have bad games.”
Miami faces Big East rival Rutgers at 2pm on Saturday in the Convocation Center.
“We just have to go on,” Labati said. “This is just a little bit of a setback tonight but we’re going to rebound-we’re definitely going to be…ready to play on Saturday.”
Melissa Teich can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.