The women’s basketball team wants to be something special this season, and it is even working on a different continent to make sure that happens. On Aug. 18, the team returned from an eight-day trip to Europe. The excursion could prove to be exactly what the Canes needed going into the 2015-16 season.
The Hurricanes, led by Head Coach Katie Meier, visited cities in the Netherlands, Belgium and France while overseas. During their first stop in Amsterdam, the Canes enjoyed sightseeing, riding on ferries and visiting many historical places such as the Anne Frank Museum. Then, it was time for basketball.
Miami faced off against the Netherlands national team twice. The result of the first game was an 86-68 loss, despite strong performances by redshirt sophomore guard Nigia Greene, junior guard Adrienne Motley and sophomore forward Keyanna Harris. All had double-figure scoring games, with Greene also picking up six steals, Harris five and Motley grabbing eight rebounds.
The Canes showed resilience in the rematch the next day as they took the Netherlands national team to overtime in the Sporthallen Zuid. Although falling just short in a 90-85 loss, the team showed a great drive to win with improved stats all around. Harris topped her previous performance with an impressive double-double, scoring 21 points to go along with 11 boards. Motley and redshirt senior guard Michelle Woods added 17 points apiece and junior guard Jessica Thomas contributed 15 points and five assists.
The effort shown by Miami wasn’t the only significant element to the game. The coaching staff and players were also able to take a close look at opposing guard Laura Cornelius and forward Emese Hof. Both were recruited in early 2015 and are attending Miami as freshmen. The Canes are expecting big things out of the Dutch duo.
Next stop for the team was Bruges, Belgium. Waiting for them was BC Waregem, whom coach Meier played for during her professional career. The Canes dominated the Belgian squad, doubling their score in a 98-49 win. Hayes and Motley led their team again, putting out great scoring efforts of 22 and 21 points, respectively. Thomas helped to get the offense flowing, assisting on five scores, and Harris showed her defensive prowess with five steals.
Despite the excellent play of the team, the focus that night was coach Meier and her reunion with her former coach, Marc Foucart, and housemother, Gemma. At halftime, Foucart showed his respect for Meier with a speech, and Gemma gifted her with an old team picture.
The third and final stop of the trip was Paris. The Canes were not going to miss an opportunity to see the Eiffel Tower or to finish their tour with a win against an AMW All-Star. They did both, taking late-night team pictures at the monument and beating the French team 81-47 in a game where the Canes were locked in from the start. Motley was the team’s highest scorer with 14 points, with sophomore forward Erykah Davenport and Hayes doing their parts as well, both scoring in double figures and grabbing a combined 20 rebounds.
While the Hurricanes ended their trip in Europe with two wins and two losses, the outcome of the journey will show to be more than just a .500 record. The Canes are determined, keeping a return to the NCAA Tournament in mind.
Featured Image courtesy HurricaneSports.com