The University of Miami’s women’s basketball team suffered a nine-point loss to Duke, the No. 3 team in the nation, Thursday night at the Convocation Center.
The battle between the two Atlantic Coast Conference teams was felt to the buzzer. The ‘Canes proved their abilities, fighting to stay within striking distance of the Blue Devils despite a number of errors in the second half that negatively impacted the outcome.
“Miami definitely deserves credit for the game tonight. They kept fighting no matter what we threw at them,” Duke Head Coach Gail Goestenkors said.
After Duke succeeded in scoring the first five points of the game, Miami responded by securing three two-point field goals, the first of which was made by freshman guard Albrey Grimsley. Junior Tamara James, the second-leading scorer in the country, closed the gap with a three-point shot, bringing the score to 9-7.
As a result of eight turnovers made by Duke, the ‘Canes remained the front runners for the majority of the first half. The Blue Devils found their step, however, and ended the period leading 33-23.
The second half proved to be more of a struggle for the Hurricanes, as they suffered from a number of errors that accounted for 11 Duke points. While the Blue Devils remained the controlling force on the court, the ‘Canes continued to score, closing the score to within six points multiple times and keeping Duke from celebrating until the final buzzer.
Senior guard Yalonda McCormick and sophomore forward and center Imani Dhahabu made their presence known in response to Duke’s containment of James.
“Duke was focusing mostly on me and others on the team took the opportunity to make some plays offensively, showing our diversity in different situations,” James said.
Despite the tremendous efforts made, the ‘Canes were unable to defeat the ACC leaders, losing the game 72-63.
“The ACC is the No. 1 conference and it is inevitable that every game will be a battle,” Head Coach Ferne Labati said. “We’re working toward the future of the ‘Canes basketball program and like Coach Haith has said, ‘we’re a work in progress.'”
Stacey Arnold can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.