The No. 17 Hurricanes concluded their regular season on Sunday afternoon in a heartbreaking loss to the No. 12-ranked Florida State Seminoles 70-67 in Tallahassee, Florida. Despite Miami holding a small lead for the majority of the game, FSU pulled away late to win. Although the Canes didn’t end their regular season the way they wanted to, the close loss to Florida State is a blemish on an otherwise successful season.
In her 11th season as head coach, Katie Meier led Miami to a record of 22-7 and 10-6 in ACC play, which is the best regular-season mark for the Canes since the 2011-12 campaign. This is Miami’s sixth 20-plus-win season in the last seven years, seventh-consecutive postseason and likely its fifth trip to the NCAA tournament in the last six years.
Miami’s three captains, junior guard Adrienne Motley, junior guard Jessica Thomas and redshirt senior guard Michelle Woods, led the team all season long. Between Motley’s scoring, Thomas’s court awareness and Woods’s tenacity on both ends, Miami always took the court with a chance to win.
Meier’s squad also benefitted greatly from getting redshirt junior forward Keyona Hayes back after she missed last season with a right-ankle injury. Her finishing ability and rebounding were evident on a nightly basis.
The Dutch duo of freshman guard Laura Cornelius and freshman forward Emese Hof made an impact in their first year at Miami. Cornelius exemplified that she can more than handle the point guard position, while Hof led the team in rebounding.
The Canes started a perfect 10-0, doing an excellent job of taking care of business against out-of-conference opponents. Their first lost came against No. 4-ranked Baylor in December. The team also fared well in the ACC, defeating teams such as North Carolina State, Duke and Georgia Tech.
The issue for Miami was against the ranked teams in the conference. The Canes went 0-2 against FSU this year and suffered losses to Notre Dame, Louisville and Syracuse. A couple of the games went right down to the wire, but the team just couldn’t pull out the wins.
Miami goes into the ACC Tournament as the fifth seed and will receive a bye in the first round. The Canes will play the winner of Wednesday’s matchup between Pittsburgh and North Carolina at 11 a.m. on Thursday in Greensboro, North Carolina.