The No. 17 Hurricanes were absolutely no match for the No. 10 Louisville Cardinals, as the Canes fell 79-51 Thursday night at the BankUnited Center. Miami was dominated in every phase of the game, particularly on the boards.
The Canes (22-6, 10-5) came into the game the better rebounding team, averaging 3.5 more rebounds a game than the Cards. However, the Cards attacked the boards and out-rebounded Miami 53-28. Louisville (23-6, 14-1) especially dominated Miami on the offensive glass, outrebounding the Canes 22-8.
“We aren’t that soft, but we were tonight,” Head Coach Katie Meier said.
The Canes’ struggles came not only from the lack of effort on the glass, but also in the team’s inability to get into any offensive rhythm. The Cards’ zone defense gave Miami issues, turning the ball over 18 times. Louisville took advantage, converting those 18 giveaways into 30 points.
Even when Miami found open looks, the team still struggled to put the ball in the basket. Throughout the season, the Canes have been a good three-point shooting team, averaging 33.2 percent from shots beyond the arc. That wasn’t the case tonight as they converted a mere 3-of-14 triples.
The fourth quarter was a wash, as Miami’s poor play in the third quarter all but sealed its fate as the victim of a Louisville thrashing.
In the third quarter the Canes had eight turnovers, nearly matching the nine points in the frame.
Miami first lost its footing in the contest toward the end of the second quarter. In the final seven minutes of the first half, the Cards went on a 20-2 run, putting them up 40-21 at halftime.
The first quarter began with little indication that the game would be so lop-sided, but a small glimpse into the future came when the Cards got four offensive boards on their first possession.
“They got four offensive rebounds on the very first play of the game, and that was very disheartening,” Meier said.
Redshirt senior guard Michelle Woods played her final home game for the Canes, as the team celebrated Senior Night. The South Florida native averaged more than six points per game in her final season at Miami.
“She is so tough, and she represents every time we need to respond with toughness, and every time we need leadership, and every time we a box out and every time we need to stop a big-time player from scoring, just constantly turn to Chelley,” Meier said of her only senior.
The Canes finish their regular season against Florida State at 3 p.m. on Sunday in Tallahassee.