Miami played a solid 25 minutes of basketball Thursday. But that wasn’t nearly enough to go against an overwhelming Georgia Tech squad, as the ‘Canes fell 66-45.
“We have to understand it’s a 40-minute game,” said said Head Coach Katie Meier, pointing out her team’s inconsistencies.
The ‘Canes struggled right out of the gate, falling behind 23-8, marked by a stretch of 6:22 without a field goal. Miami played better immediately before and after the half, pulling within five points at the 13:23 mark of the second.
“Miami made plays to get back in the game,” Georgia Tech Head Coach MaChelle Joseph said. “We switched to a full-court press coming out of the locker room, and Miami took advantage. We then went to a half-court man defense and got stop after stop after stop.”
Those stops led to Yellow Jacket points; GA Tech outscored Miami 25 to 11 from the 13 minute mark.
The Hurricanes played as strongly as they had played at any point in the entire game.
“We felt like we had to press, being down double-digits, and they took advantage,” Meier said. “You lose by one, you lose by 20, you still lose. You have to play to win.”
Miami’s dynamic duo of Maurita Reid and Renee Taylor combined for 24 points, 17 for Taylor and seven for Reid. Their struggles were highlighted by their shooting percentages, going a combined 7-for-25 from the field and missing 11 of 12 shots from inside the arc.
Their teammates didn’t pick up the slack for the struggling stars, as the team only shot 33.3 percent from the field.
“They’ve done such an amazing job of scoring when they’re the focus of the opposition’s game plan,” Meier said. “The rest of us need to learn to step up when Renee and Maurita aren’t scoring.”
The road for the ‘Canes doesn’t get any easier, as Miami will now travel to Tobacco Road to face No. 2 North Carolina in their next-to-last game of the season. The Tar Heels are coming off a tough loss at N.C. State, who Miami will play in their last game of the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 24. In their previous meeting in 2006, the Tar Heels throttled Miami 90-57 as they were assisted by a season-high 13 three-point shots, which fell one short of a school record.
While the task looks daunting for the ‘Canes, they received some words of praise from an unlikely source.
“They’re the scariest team in the ACC,” Joseph said. They’ve got two of the best guards in the entire league. They could be very scary at ACC Tournament time.”
Matthew may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.