Sports

Despite first-round loss, Hurricanes can still be proud

Most Hurricane fans can agree that the women’s basketball team could have done some things differently.

A missed opportunity in the remaining moments of the NCAA Tournament game against Maryland has been the talk of the campus in the last week. But true fans of the team got over the last-second loss rather quickly. They know the battle the ‘Canes have fought all season long, and they’d be hard pressed to ask for a better outcome.

Yes, the team has had its ups and downs. But at the end of the day, making it as far as it did outweighs the disappointments.

Coming into the tournament as the No. 5 seed, the ‘Canes prepared for their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance (and their second consecutive trip). Last year they came in at No. 11 and lost to No. 6 New Mexico in overtime in the first round. But the journey to the tournament this year was a sweet one as the team suffered only six losses in its 28 regular season games.

The women appeared unstoppable as they raced to a 12-0 start stretching from November to early January. Their first loss (Villanova on Jan. 7) was but a blip on the radar screen as they cruised through their next four games. Perhaps the biggest trouble of the season came in a three-game stretch where they struggled against Big East rivals Notre Dame, Rutgers, and Connecticut. But again they bounced back from the darkest point of their season and entered the tournament with very few battle wounds. Even Maryland can’t say the same.

The ‘Canes started turning heads across the country when they climbed to No. 17 in the nation following their twelfth consecutive victory. It was the combination of strength and leadership on this team that enabled them to win against all odds. When people talked about Miami basketball, they were talking about the women. The coaching staff, led by Head Coach Ferne Labati, was instrumental in leading this team, as were seniors Chanivia Broussard and Shaquana Wilkins, along with Tamara James and key players Yalonda McCormick and Melissa Knight. Every time they spoke, win or lose, it was about forgetting the past and moving onto the next game.

The women possessed a brand of cohesiveness that is hard to come by for most teams. And every season, national championship or not, is a learning experience.

Anything less than a No. 1 finish is a disappointment on some level, as we all learned in the past two seasons of Hurricane football. But we should only be more optimistic about the women’s basketball team’s chances to advance even further in its first season as Atlantic Coast Conference members.

Despite the premature exit, it still has been a highly successful season. And after all, doesn’t it make the prospects for next season a little more exciting when the ultimate prize hasn’t yet been won?

Melissa Teich can be contacted at m.teich1@umiami.edu.

March 30, 2004

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

A six-pack of UM notes on a Monday: ▪ There has been no more popular or successful quarterback at UM ...

The Miami Hurricanes’ defense leads the nation in tackles for loss and stopping opponents on third d ...

The No. 21 University of Miami and FIU have met twice in football. But, oh, what a history they have ...

When University of Miami star safety Jaquan Johnson, thought by many to be the best player on the te ...

University of Miami backup tailback DeeJay Dallas, who had his first career 100-yard rushing game Sa ...

UM President Julio Frenk outlined the strategies of the Roadmap to Our New Century, part of his Stat ...

Listeners to UM President Julio Frenk’s State of the U reacted positively to the message and the Uni ...

At UM’s inaugural State of the U address, President Julio Frenk detailed the strategies of the Roadm ...

Tropical storm scientists and climate experts at the University of Miami provided insight, observati ...

Joseph Ganitsky, a professor in the Miami Business School, examines the financial crisis facing Arge ...

Miami remained ranked in both major polls Sunday, checking in at No. 21 in the Associated Press Top ...

The Miami Hurricanes came to Toledo, Ohio for the biggest home game in the history of Toledo footbal ...

A quartet of University of Miami men's tennis student-athletes concluded the final day of compe ...

The University of Miami women's golf team concluded Sunday with a sixth-place finish at the 35t ...

The University of Miami golf team is in sixth after the first two rounds of play at the 35th annual ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.