Turnovers help Wildcats maul Lady ‘Canes in Philadelphia

After three consecutive victories in the city of Miami, the Hurricanes hit the road for a Big East matchup with Villanova. To say the least, things weren’t as pleasant up in Philadelphia, Pa.
Miami fell to the Wildcats in convincing fashion, 80-52, at the Pavilion. The loss dropped Miami’s record to 13-7(6-4 Big East) and marked the fourth straight time the Hurricanes lost to Villanova. Head coach Ferne Labati said the result was a factor of Miami’s 19 costly turnovers.
“We turned the ball over 11 times in the first half and that is what killed us,” Labati said. “We have 10 games left that will determine postseason play, and the only way we will some of them is if we stop turning the ball over.”
Villanova scored early and often in this one, jumping out to an 18-5 lead, and behind Katie Davis’s four three pointers, led 32-20 at the break. Miami, came out of the second half shooting 46 percent, but were still outscored 17-6 early in the second half. Labati said although Miami’s offense improved in the final 20 minutes, other factors of their game did not.
“The problem in the second half was that our defense and rebounding killed us,” Labati said. “We did a better job offensively, but we couldn’t get it done on the glass.”
Villanova shot a sizzling 61 percent in the second half, and overall hit 51 percent of their field goals, while Miami countered by knocking down 40 percent of their shots. The Wildcats hit 44 percent of their three’s, in large part to Davis, who racked seven of her 11 attempts behind the arc, finishing with a career-high 28 points. Villanova also turned the ball over just 13 times, while scoring 29 points off the Hurricanes turnovers.
Miami’s one positive was the play of junior Meghan Saake, who scored 16 points on 5-8 shooting, while grabbing six rebounds. Sophomores Chanivia Broussard posted 15, but Labati was not satisfied with Broussard’s play, as well as many of her teammates.
“Saake was our one bright spot because she played hard on both ends of the court,” Labati said. “We gave Chanivia some good looks, but she has to step up, get some rebounds, and not turn the ball over.”
“We couldn’t get any kind of shots for Shaquana (Wilkins), and we she had the ball, she was turning it over too much.”
The Hurricanes return to the Knight Sports Complex for another key Big East matchup against Pittsburgh tomorrow at 3:00. The Panthers are just 1-7 in Big East play, but Labati still expects a battle.
“We have to be focused for 40 minutes, because that’s the only way we’ll beat them,” Labati said. “Tommorow’s game could be the turning point of the season.”