Not even three players scoring in double-figures could keep the Miami Hurricanes women’s basketball team (11-15, 2-9 ACC) from losing a pivotal conference game on Sunday at Conte Forum.
Guard Renee Taylor, forward Charmaine Clark, and guard Maurita Reid each scored 17, 16 and 14 points respectively, but careless fouls and countless turnovers ultimately led to Miami’s 78-65 loss against Boston College.
In their first match-up on Jan. 18, Miami’s stellar defense overwhelmed BC’s offensive output. On Sunday, the two teams seemingly reversed roles.
Jumping out to a quick lead in the opening minutes, Boston College (12-12, 2-8 ACC) cratered through UM’s defense, while the reeling ‘Canes could only help but commit careless fouls.
Though BC led 28-17 with less than ten minutes remaining in the first half, Miami staged a 9-0 rally, which brought them within two. However, Boston College recovered and took a 36-29 lead into the half.
Only a minute into the second half, the Hurricanes cut the lead down to two with its quick offense. Boston College hoped to out-fuel Miami and extend its lead, but the ‘Canes kept the game close, snatching key rebounds.
Taylor’s fourth three at the 14:43 mark trimmed the lead to 42-41. But BC quickly regrouped, while the Hurricanes sputtered.
Miami had several opportunities to convert on key plays, but poor ball-handling and several missed layups staggered UM on offense, while on defense, the ‘Canes committed too many sloppy fouls.
With only three games remaining in the regular season, it is imperative that the Hurricanes establish their confidence, especially next week against North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Too often the ‘Canes lose focus while trailing in the second half, making it difficult to stage any kind of comeback.
The Lady Hurricanes have dropped five of their last six and ten of their last twelve. Although it will not be easy, the team must come together and play three solid games, allowing them to roll into the ACC Tournament with some semblance of momentum.
Reid, Taylor and Clark will be instrumental during these final three. The keys will be good ball-handling, gritty defense and not settling on offense.
Don’t look for the ‘Canes to roll over and play dead for the final stretch of the season, but if they do not make the adjustments needed, their season is as good as done.
Victor R. Rodriguez may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.