Another road setback for ‘Canes

‘Canes squander major opportunity
The University of Miami women’s basketball team (13-7, 5-4 Big East) was unable to hold a 12-point second half lead Tuesday night, falling to the host Rutgers (13-5, 6-2 Big East), 65-56 at the Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway, N.J.
The Scarlet Knights trailed by 12 points (41-29) with 15:22 left, but went on a 22-4 run over the next 7:03 to gain a 51-50 lead with 8:19 remaining. Rutgers outscored Miami 36-15 over the final 15 minutes, as sophomore point guard Cappie Pondexter scored 19 of her 21 points in the second half.
In the losing effort, the one bright spot for Miami continues to be the play of point guard Yalonda McCormick. The sophomore posted a team-high 20 points on 8-18 shooting. McCormick’s stellar play neutralized another off night for freshman Tamara James. The Miami native was only able to attempt nine shots against the Scarlett Knights defense, converting on four of them. James finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.
Pondexter’s 21 points led the Scarlet Knights and she also contributed six rebounds and seven assists. One of the keys to the victory was the play of sophomore forward Mariota Theodoris as she came off the bench to record a season-high nine points and tie her career high with eight rebounds. She also hit some clutch free throws in the second half, going 5-of-6 (.833) from the line.
As a team, Rutgers shot 68 percent from the line, but hit their free throws when they counted, converting on 13 of 17 opportunities in the second half. Miami also posted a 68 percent clip from the charity stripe, but after missing just two free throws in ten attempts during the first 20 minutes, the ‘Lady Canes could only muster a 60 percent clip in the second half.
Rutgers led just once in the first half, trailing by as many as nine before Mauri Horton hit a jumper to cut the lead to 32-25 at the half. Miami came out strong in the second half and built the lead to 12, the biggest lead of the game, before Rutgers mounted their comeback.
Horton finished the game with seven points, while junior Dawn McCullouch added 11 points and three rebounds. Shalicia Hurns pulled down 11 rebounds and added eight points.
The ‘Lady Canes return to action tomorrow afternoon when the team takes on St. John’s at the Conovcation Center. The Red Storm has struggled in Big East play this season, winning just two of their first 10 conference games.
Compiled by the Sports Information Department