The Hurricanes’ women’s basketball team has struggled during ACC play this season. Miami’s troubles continued against Clemson, who has had its share of difficulties too.
The Hurricanes fell for the second straight game in a 79-69 decision, dropping their record to 10-12 (1-6), while the Tigers snapped a five-game losing streak and improved to 10-12 (2-5).
The Hurricanes were striking on all cylinders early in the first half, shooting well from the perimeter, to take their largest lead of the game, a 23-14 advantage with 13:39 left.
Junior guard Maurita Reid, who came off a career-high 28 points against Virginia Tech, committed two fouls with just 12:07 left, causing the game to take a significant turn.
Clemson finished the half on a 9-0 run, heading into the intermission with a 48-44 lead.
It would then prove to be a tale of two halves for the Hurricane offensive.
Miami connected on six three-pointers and shot 48.5 percent in the first half, but were stifled coming out after the break.
The Hurricanes recorded just five field goals in the second half and only shot 25 percent from the field. Miami scored their last field goal with 7:36 remaining.
The ‘Canes could not shut down Clemson’s Carrie Whitehurst, who buried five three-pointers and was among five scorers in double-figures.
With Miami’s aggressive defensive style, fatigue may have been a factor in the second half.
“We were spending all of our energy in the full court press,” Head Coach Katie Meier said. “That was one thing where you got to roll the dice a little.”
Another problem plaguing Miami was the Tigers’ toughness on the glass, as Clemson outrebounded the Hurricanes 44-33 and scored 16 second-chance points.
“Clemson was the more physical team in this game,” Meier said. “We will keep plugging at it.”
Miami still can be encouraged by the development of freshman forward Charmaine Clark, who registered the first double-double of her collegiate career. Clark, who had 20 points against Boston College, came away with 18 points on 5-of-11 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Junior center Carla Williams scored eight points and collected six rebounds in 19 minutes of play, as well.
Meier pointed to their performances as a bright spot in the loss.
“It’s good to see the positive development of Charmaine and Carla,” Meier said. “They are really coming along well.”
Hurricanes senior guard Renee Taylor scored a game-high 20 points but was non-existent from the field in the second half. Taylor knocked down four triples in the first half but did all her damage after intermission from the free-throw line. The Harlem, NY native missed all four field goal attempts after half-time.
Miami also did not receive the contributions they usually receive from junior guard Albrey Grimsley and sophomore guard LaToya Cunningham, who combined for just six points while committing an uncharacteristic 10 turnovers.
Meier feels the Hurricanes must play better in their following ACC contests.
“There has to be a lot to solve,” Meier said. “This is going to be hard to manage the team.”
Alex Kushel may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.