Miami returns to Big Dance

The UM women’s basketball team still has some work left before they can be considered as much of a Big East power as the Uconn’s and Rutgers. However, a new member of the team brought the ‘Canes closer to reaching that goal this past season.
In a year that saw Miami reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998, freshman forward Tamara James wasted no time making the jump from hard working rookie to Big East superstar. James, a native of Miami, led the conference averaging 21.0 points a game, while pacing the Hurricanes with 7.9 rebounds per contest. Her contributions helped Miami achieve an 18-13 record, and an impressive run in the Big East tournament.
“She’s a competitor,” Labati told the Miami Herald. “She wants to win. She believes in herself. She believes in the team concept. She wants the ball in critical situations. She can do so many things.”
James, named the ‘Canes starter at small forward to begin the season, made her presence felt immediately with a 20 point, 21 rebound performance in UM’s opening game 60-49 victory over South Florida. She continued to be a consistent scoring threat for her team, with efforts like a 36-point night in an 87-56 rout of Quinnipiac, and a 27-point evening in Miami’s 97-66 victory over Maryland.
Before the start of conference play, the Hurricanes got off to an 11-3 start, and while it helped to have the nation’s highest scoring freshman in their lineup everyday, there were certainly other players increasing their level of play. Senior Meghan Saake, a two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year, continued to make plays on both ends of the floor, while junior Chanivia Broussard and sophomore Melissa Knight provided the ‘Canes some much needed depth off the bench.
Despite the presence of a consistent scoring threat, and better production from the bench, Miami still could not avoid falling into inconsistencies which have plagued the program over the past few seasons. Once Big East play rolled around, teams were finding ways to double-team James, and no one else’s shots were falling on a consistent basis.
Although Miami would lose several close games during that span, one player eventually helped taking the load off from James’s back. Sophomore Yalonda McCormick, who suffered through a disappointing rookie campaign, turned things around with a mature attitude and an improvement in all areas.
McCormick finished second on the ‘Canes with a 10.2 points per game scoring average, and also dished out six assists per contest. McCormick and Saake also formed one of the country’s devastating defensive combos. Saake added a 10.2 points per game average to the defensive highlights.
“Meghan Saake would be a great asset to any championship team,” Labati said. “She is fully dedicated to the game and it is great to coach a player like her. She gave us four years of dedication and hard work.”
Although the Hurricanes lose the services of Saake and Alicia Hartlaub, James and McCormick are back, along with eight other players from the 2002-2003 squad. Add to that a stellar freshman class, and Hurricane fans could be in for one of the most exciting seasons in quite some time.

July 2, 2003


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

Around the Web

Claire Paris-Limouzy started freediving for research and ended up becoming a record-breaking athlete who is also spearheading a Scientific Freediving program at the University. ...

Sociology scholars from around the world convened for a virtual conference hosted by the University of Miami on Thursday to explore shifting tendencies in international relocation and the implications for global social change. ...

Lauryn Williams, track and field and bobsled medalist, addressed the University community during Wednesday night’s “What Matters to U” virtual event. ...

During his appearance Tuesday on a webinar hosted by the University of Miami Patti and Allan Herbert Business School, tech mogul Eric Yuan highlighted the importance of a workplace culture of happiness and urged that businesses pay greater attention to the digital divide. ...

Early voting in Florida began this week and will last through Nov. 1. Here’s a rundown of everything students need to know about upcoming campus events, from the final debate watch party to transportation to the polls. ...

TMH Twitter
About Us

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.