Miami Women’s Basketball earned an impressive, critical on-the-road win over No. 23 Syracuse, 85-71 Thursday night.
For the Miami women, life on the road has not been kind recently. Five consecutive weekends brought five road games, three of those against ranked squads. After a loss against Louisville on the road, Miami even had to stay an extra night due to mechanical problems on the plane. Thursday, Miami once again had to stay an extra night.
Despite the sub-zero temperatures in upstate New York, Miami (17-7, 7-4 ACC) was on fire from the field throughout the game in the Carrier Dome, shooting nearly 50 percent. The Canes were paced by Suriya McGuire, who scored 17 points on 7-11 shooting, while Michelle Woods and Adrienne Motley added 15 and 14, respectively.
Miami’s freshman also gave the Canes a big lift in the first half. Erykah Davenport scored eight first half points on 4-6 shooting, showing an impressive array of post moves in the process, an encouraging sign of the potential emergence of a young player. Keyanna Harris had back-to-back buckets in a nice sequence that included an and-one play, and Khaila Prather continued the solid defensive presence and willingness to crash the boards she has displayed over the past few games.
Syracuse (17-8, 7-5) had four players in double figures, led by Alexis Peterson’s 21. Their full court and half court trapping pressure however, never really affected Miami’s guards, who utilized ball fakes and lob passes efficiently to counter the pressure, a majority of turnovers coming off sets in the half court.
Despite shooting 1-8 from beyond the arc in the first half, Miami still held a 35-25 lead, a testament to their defensive effort and effectiveness in the paint. Poor shooting nights have hurt Miami on the road this season – against Syracuse, Miami executed on all other aspects of their game, and picked up the shooting in the second half, shooting 4-9 from the perimeter.
Miami will finally return home for a contest with Georgia Tech this Sunday afternoon at 3 pm. It will be Miami’s ‘Play for Kay’ day, an initiative in which schools wear pink to raise breast cancer awareness and honor former NC State head coach Kay Yow, who passed away in 2009.