The women’s basketball team, under new Head Coach Katie Meier, began the season in fine fashion by securing its first win 72-51 over Samford.
Forward Tamara James led the Hurricanes with 17 points. Melissa Knight, in her first game back from an ACL injury, added 14 points.
The ‘Canes (1-0) opened the scoring with a successful free throw by newcomer Renee Taylor. Their lead was lost to the Bulldogs (0-1), who scored the next four points. Senior guard Katie Hayek sunk a three-point shot, evening the score.
While it seemed like the teams were gearing up for a close game, the Hurricanes pulled ahead 6-4 with a lay-up by Imani Dhahabu.
Miami’s scoring remained solid throughout the rest of the first half. Offensively, the ‘Canes had a comfortable edge against Samford. On defense, the Hurricanes held the Bulldogs to 17 points in the first half.
“Our effort was first class. Defense in the first half was phenomenal and [Miami] is a team that hasn’t been known for its defense,” Meier said. “I’m very proud.”
The second half was equally successful for the Hurricanes, who maintained the lead throughout.
At the start of the game, senior forward Tamara James was six points shy of being third place all-time in scoring at UM. It marked the 31st straight game James finished in double figures.
“I don’t know how far she has to go to be the leading scorer, but I will tell you that she is one of the best scorers I have ever coached,” Meier said. “The timing of her baskets is what makes her special.”
James said the win deserved more attention than her individual feats.
“[The records] are not what are important to me,” James said. “If we have a successful season, then I can look back and be remembered, but I would rather be someone of significance on the team than someone of achievement.”
Despite the solid win, Meier said that offensive execution would be a target area to improve upon.
“I told the team it was everything you could want in a first game,” Meier said. “We showed we were good and then we showed we can be bad. We were tested and we had to make some plays to win it.”
Stacey Arnold can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.