In a game with major NCAA implications, turnovers and questionable calls proved to be Miami’s downfall.
The ‘Canes turned the ball over 26 times and had several calls go against them in a 78-71 overtime loss to the Seton Hall Pirates in South Orange, New Jersey. The loss drops Miami to 15-10 on the season.
“Turnovers were horrible,” Hartlaub said. “26 turnovers lead to a lot of points for the other team.”
Tamara James led the Canes with 19 points, but fouled out in overtime. The big story in the overtime was the officiating, as the Miami players were unhappy with the direction of the calls, but wouldn’t blame the final result on the officials.
“When we are on the road, we don’t expect to get the calls,” McCormick said. “We basically play eight against five, so we have to be that much better.”
Senior guard Meghan Saake said the loss was a result of blowing a 2nd half lead, as well as not executing the little things well.
“You learn from every loss,” Saake said. “It’s the little things that hurt us. Boxing out and turning the ball over, those things have hurt us all season and cost us leads.”
The ‘Canes led 34-26 at intermission, but quickly gave up control of the game in the second half.. The ‘Canes fell behind 61-59, but a Chanivia Broussard lay-up off a pass from Megan Saake tied the game at 61. Saake did not score a point, but contributed with eight assists in the contest.
“Over the years, I’ve learned I can contribute in other ways when my shot isn’t falling,” Saake said. “I can make the passes and set up my teammates.”
Yolanda McCormick and Broussard each scored 17 points to lead the ‘Canes. McCormick also made a steal to get UM the ball back with 7.2 seconds left in regulation.
“I just wanted to play good defense and not foul,” McCormick said. “I was just trying to make a good play and I ended up stealing the ball.”
However, the ‘Canes could not find the answer to Leslie Ardon, who had 21 points for the Pirates on 7-13 shooting. Ashley Bush also was 7-13 from the field, finishing with 15 points for Seton Hall
The loss hurts Miami’s chances to make the NCAA Tournament, but the team is optimistic that they can still get into the tournament by taking care of business in their final two games and in the Big East Tournament. The Hurricanes had 18 victories last season but missed getting into the NCAA Tournament, instead settling for an NIT berth.
“We came into the season with the mindset of wanting to make the NCAA Tournament,” Saake said. “That goal has not changed,”
The ‘Canes have two regular season games remaining, Saturday at Boston College and then at home against Georgetown before heading off to the Big East tournament in Piscataway, New Jersey.
-Darren Grossman can be reached at DRG215@aol.com.