WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Miami falls to Georgia Tech on last-second shot

Make it five straight in the series.

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (15-2, 2-1) defeated the Hurricanes women’s basketball team 68-65 on a three-pointer with 0.5 seconds left on Sunday afternoon at the Alexander Memorial Coliseum in Atlanta. The game put Miami’s record at 8-10 (1-2).

Now, the overall all-time series record is even at six wins apiece.

It was a sloppy game from the start as the Canes committed a season-high 27 turnovers.

Despite leading at the half 30-28 and building an 11-point lead with just over six minutes left in the game, the turnovers eventually led to UM’s fall.

“Turning the ball over and possessions on the offensive side need work,” said Head Coach Katie Meier. “Two big crucial plays can determine a win or a loss. We need to execute the zone; every player on the roster matters.”

GT senior Chioma Nnamaka’s back-to-back three-pointers followed by a three-point play by senior Janie Mitchell tied the game with 2:15 remaining.

Although the Yellow Jackets continued their surge, Miami junior LaToya Cunningham returned the favor with a three-point field goal of her own, including a key shot that turned a one-point deficit into a two-point lead with just 43 seconds left on the clock.

The two teams were trading blows, until a critical turnover by Miami senior Albrey Grimsley was called for a carry.

Freshman Alex Montgomery nailed a three as time expired and finished with 11 points for the afternoon to lead Georgia Tech.

Miami senior Maurita Reid led all players with 18 points, including seven in the first half alone, while senior Carla Williams also had a good game for the Hurricanes with 12 points and seven rebounds.

Cunningham’s 15 points off the bench was not enough, though, due to the overpowering performances by Nnamaka and junior Jacqua Williams.

“Every game I just ask for them to play their best game of the year,” said Meier. “We keep getting better. It was a tough loss, but it’s exciting in the ACC. Whoever gets the ball last is going to win the game. Against Clemson, we had the ball last and won. At Georgia Tech, Georgia Tech had it.”

Before Sunday, the Hurricanes had taken a 2-1 record since the start of 2008 into the game with wins against Charleston Southern and Clemson, with their lone loss coming against No.12-ranked Duke.

Miami returns Jan. 21 to take on the Virginia Cavaliers at the BankUnited Center for its second ACC home game.

Christina De Nicola may be contacted at c.denicola@umiami.edu.