Trouble on the Court

The University of Miami women’s basketball is falling short of its preseason expectations after initially being ranked fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

After Thursday’s loss to the North Carolina State Wolfpack, the women are now last in the ACC with a 0-4 record.

The women’s team managed five straight wins against non-ACC opponents since the middle of December, with victories over UCF, Montana, Fairfield, Loyola Marymount and Coppin State. Despite the team’s potential and strong efforts, the ‘Canes were unable to overtake conference foes Florida State, Wake Forest and the University of North Carolina.

Miami had a slow start in the game against the Wolfpack in Raleigh, N.C., Thursday night. The women’s team closely trailed N.C. State after a number of turnovers and failed attempts to score. The ‘Canes took the lead by one point with a lay-up made by Imani Dhahabu. After finding its niche in the game, Miami stayed ahead closing out the first half with a score of 36-34 thanks to a three-point shot by senior guard Yalonda McCormick.

The squad had a positive start to the second half, with the ‘Canes scoring the first six points, but the tide soon turned in favor of the Wolfpack after several successful free throws. Turnovers and missed free throws contributed to the ever-growing lead N.C. State held. Forward Tamara James ended the game with a two-point field goal, making the final score 73-59 in favor of the Wolfpack.

A win against North Carolina State would have been the first time the ‘Canes ever beat the Wolfpack. It would also have been the team’s first ACC conference win and the first road win of the season.

While the women’s team may not be seeing success in terms of wins within the conference, individually the ‘Canes are setting records. After scoring 11 points in the last game, James is only six points away from becoming the sixth player to have a career total of 1,500 points at the University of Miami. James leads the NCAA in scoring with an average of 23.7 points per game. McCormick is second in the ACC in both steals and assists.

Although Head Coach Ferne Labati and her squad have their work cut out for them in such a competitive conference, the season is certainly not over.

On Thursday the ‘Canes face another conference team, the Florida State Seminoles, at home.

Stacey Arnold can be contacted at