Women’s Basketball: ‘Canes hope to rebound after five straight losses

After a promising 7-1 start to the season, the Miami Hurricanes Women’s basketball team (9-9, 0-3) have lost eight out of their last 10 games, seeing their season dwindle right before their eyes.

Miami suffered their worst defeat of the season on Jan. 10, losing 111-53 to the defending national champions, No. 1 Maryland.

“You’re trying to build a program and you had the national champs on your home court and you need to come out and battle,” Head Coach Katie Meier said. “We backed down and I got a lot of lessons to teach here.”

The Hurricanes’ 58 point loss was their largest since a 60 point loss to Texas Tech in 2004. The 111 points allowed against the Terps was the second worst in school history.

Junior Maurita Reid, who scored 24 points against Maryland, believes the Hurricanes must fix their mistakes in their remaining 11 ACC games.

“It’s always room for improvement,” Reid said. “Everybody learned, and we all have to put our heads together and learn as a team.”

Miami has been tested to start conference play, squaring off against the first and third-ranked teams in the country as well as Florida State.

Miami shot 26.3 percent from the field and committed 23 turnovers in a 72-42 setback of third-ranked Duke in the ACC opener.

The Hurricanes failed to turnaround their slide in a 71-62 loss to Florida State, suffering their sixth straight road loss. With teams deadlocked 21-21 with 8:55 in the first half, Florida State held a double digit lead until the 2:12 mark of the second half.

Miami’s four game losing streak began with Auburn, a 79-61 decision in the UM Holiday Classic championship game that marked the ‘Canes first home loss of the season.

Before the New Year, Miami was poised for non-conference road victories versus Houston and Mississippi, going into the intermission tied 37-37 in both contests.

The Hurricanes were outrebounded 52-37 against Houston, falling 82-73.

In their following contest, Mississippi would start the second half on a 20-0 run en route to an 82-64 victory.

The Hurricanes’ two victories in this stretch came against Texas State (92-67), led by junior Albrey Grimsley’s career-high 20 points, and Coppin State (60-54) with senior Renee Taylor totaling 25 points.

Miami’s recent troubles can be attributed to their lack of consistent production.

Sophomore Brittany Denson has registered a combined 17 points and 12 rebounds in the last four games while sophomore Latoya Cunningham and freshman Charmaine Clark have posted six points apiece.

The Hurricanes have battled injuries and depth issues too. Freshman Eboni Sadler (shoulder) has missed the last three contests, while senior Amy Audibert (ankle) did not play against Maryland.

Despite Miami’s struggles, Taylor continues to have an outstanding senior season. Taylor leads the ACC in scoring, averaging 19.8 points per game. She also set the Hurricanes single game scoring record with 42 points against Houston, surpassing former ‘Canes Maria Rivera and Francis Savage’s record of 41 points.

Meier hopes she can restore that same effort Taylor had versus Houston in her team before it’s too late.

“We’re young but that doesn’t mean that we don’t play hard,” Meier said. “I got a big responsibility to get this team back playing hard.”

Alex Kushel may be contacted at a.kushel@umiami.edu.