The No. 19-ranked Hurricanes braved the ice and snow of South Bend, Indiana, to take on Notre Dame Sunday afternoon. It was a tough day for Miami beyond the stinging weather. The Canes suffered their worst loss of the season, falling 90-69 to the Irish.
Although the Irish’s sole conference loss since joining the ACC in 2014 came against the Canes last season, the nation’s third-best team was determined not to lose again. Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame finalist Muffet McGraw coached the Irish to a 21-point victory.
Turnovers and scoring droughts really hurt the Canes. Miami (21-5, 9-4) had a lot of good looks, but couldn’t get a majority of shots to fall. Notre Dame was relentless on defense and near the basket on offense, garnering twice as many defensive boards and scoring 40 points in the paint. The Fighting Irish led by as many as 36 points.
Although she struggled in the first half, junior guard Jessica Thomas finished with 12 points and five assists. Fellow junior guard Adrienne Motley, Miami’s leading scorer this season, also had trouble attacking the stout Irish defense. She ended with eight points on 3-of-13 shooting from the field.
For the second time against an ACC opponent, freshman center Emese Hof scored in double figures, finishing with 12 points and five rebounds. Redshirt sophomore guard Nigia Greene closed out the game with eight points in her first appearance on the court since Dec. 6. She missed the last 14 games due to an injury.
For the Fighting Irish (24-1, 12-0), freshman Arike Ogunbowale was among four Notre Dame players in double figures and led all players with 18 points.
Miami faces a tough schedule to close out the regular season, including games against No. 12 Louisville and No. 10 Florida State. The Canes next play Virginia Tech at 4 p.m. on Sunday at the BankUnited Center.