Women’s Basketball: Miami loses fourth straight

Despite a hard-fought effort, the Hurricanes’ women’s basketball team struggled after halftime, suffering a 73-60 loss to the Virginia Cavaliers on Sunday.

Miami dropped its fourth consecutive game and has lost nine straight away games.

With the loss, the Hurricanes are 10-14 (1-8), while the Cavaliers improved to 13-10 (3-6) and snapped a five-game losing streak.

Miami had a strong first-half, led by senior center Amy Audibert and junior guard Albrey Grimsley, who kept it close at intermission, trailing 27-26.

Audibert was given the start and played relatively well early. The Niagara Falls, Ontario native scored Miami’s first seven points, which tied her season-high.

Grimsley was also an offensive force, shooting 5-of-7 and totaling 11 first-half points. She would finish the contest with 19 points, three assists and three rebounds.

“The Virginia game plan was to take Renee and Maurita out [of the offense] so Albrey had the opportunity to step up,” Head Coach Katie Meier said. “She was getting good shots and looked real smart and poised.”

But, Miami’s defense would let them down after the break, allowing Virginia to shoot 65.4 percent while the Hurricanes struggled to answer. Miami shot just 33.8 percent from the field and 32 percent from beyond the arc throughout the game.

“I think the main thing was they were able to get in transition and push tempo,” Meier said. “I told our team we needed to keep it close in the first five minuets of the second-half, but we just didn’t get through and extend the game the way we wanted to.”

Virginia outscored Miami 36-24 in the paint and also received a strong effort from guard Monica Wright, who had a game-high 20 points.

Miami was unable to get the score to single-digits until the 1:28 mark of the second-half, cutting the deficit to 69-60 after junior guard Maurita Reid buried two straight three-pointers.

Reid continues to be the most productive Hurricane in ACC contests, having another all-around strong performance.

“Maurita has been phenomenal, kind of the way Renee came in her first year and was productive,” Meier said. “Not too many [players] can lead a team in three-pointers, rebounding and steals. She has played at a high level in the ACC and not too many have handled it better.”

Reid posted her third double-double of the season, recording 11 points and collecting 11 rebounds. The Queens, NY native also dished out four assists and had a game-high four steals.

Reid’s hot perimeter shooting was not in enough time though to complete the comeback.

Senior guard Renee Taylor remains the ACC leading scorer, but was kept relatively quiet. The Harlem, NY native registered 10 points on 4-of-14 shooting.

Despite their struggles on the road, Meier feels her team has not played poorly.

“We played some great basketball on the road like the game against Virginia Tech,” Meier said. “We just keep coming up short.”

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