The Miami Hurricanes women’s basketball team caged the Clemson Tigers 79-42 at the BankUnited Center Thursday night.
Great team defense gave the Lady Canes the edge over the Lady Tigers in a decisive ACC win. Giving up only 42 points, the Lady Canes tied for their second best defensive performance of the season.
The team was led by senior forward Necole Sterling, who contributed 17 points. However, the big story of the night is defense.
After trailing by 4 early in the game, the Lady Canes locked in on defense. With 8:45 left in the first half, Clemson scored what would be their last field goal of the half. The scoring drought continued over five minutes into the second half as the Lady Canes built up a 30-plus point lead.
Clemson’s star guard, Nikki Dixon, had just 10 points on 3-for-12 shooting. Clemson, as a team, shot just 33 percent from the field. The stifling defense of the Lady Canes forced the Lady Tigers to turn the ball over 17 times.
The defensive pressure also created plenty of easy buckets for the Lady Canes. With 25 points off of turnovers, the Miami offensive was rolling. This win marked the fifth time this season the Lady Canes put more than 75 points on the scoreboard.
Sophomore Adrienne Motley continued her hot streak with 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting. She has now scored in the double digits in 16 of the Lady Canes’ 17 games this season.
With 3:28 remaining in the game, Jassany Williams grabbed her tenth rebound. She also scored 10 points, for her second double-double of the season.
“If you don’t love this team yet, you’re missing something,” head coach Katie Meier said after the game. “Defense means everything. Defense is fun.”
Meier also joked about Sterling’s improved defense. Sterling attributed her improvement to conditioning and working hard in the off-season.
Great teamwork is another reason why the Lady Canes have the best defense in the ACC, allowing just 55.3 points per game.
“This is the most fun I’ve ever had on any team,” Sterling said. “It’s a legit team. It’s not just one person.”
Up next, the Lady Canes travel to Durham, North Carolina to take on the No. 16-ranked Duke Blue Devils.
When asked about playing at her alma mater, Meier said, “The fact that it’s my alma mater means nothing to me. It’s another ACC game.”
Riding a six-game win streak, the Lady Canes hope to stay atop the ACC.