WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Free-throw shooting cripples Canes

Doomed by poor foul shooting, the Hurricanes dropped a tough 75-70 decision to the Seminoles Thursday night at the BankUnited Center.

“It’s one of those contagious things,” said Head Coach Katie Meier. “That’s been a huge factor in losing some of these close games.”

Miami (8-12, 1-4) was outscored 9-4 in overtime by a Florida State team (14-6, 4-1) that faced its first week without votes in both of the national polls.

Once again, senior Albrey Grimsley performed well for the Canes by becoming the third UM player to record a double-double with career-highs of 21 points and 11 assists.

Unfortunately, senior Maurita Reid scored just 12 points, almost five points below her average, though she made up for it on the defensive end with eight steals. Coming into the game, Reid was fourth in the nation in takeaways.

“We’re so used to those [baskets] going in,” Meier said.

Freshman Epiphany Woodson contributed with 14 points on the night as she continues to excel in her first year.

“I don’t really look at being a freshman anymore,” said Woodson.

With 12:13 left, the Canes held an eight point lead, their largest of the game. It was the result of a 16-4 run; The Noles hadn’t made a field goal for over six minutes of play. Florida State slowly climbed back, however, on sophomore Jacinta Monroe’s free throws, which contributed to her 21 points.

“Our guards did a much better job getting her [Monroe] the ball,” said Florida State Head Coach Sue Semrau.

Foul shots proved to be crucial in the extra period as Miami went 2-6 and 1-7 from the field while the Seminoles hit both foul shots and made three field-goals to take advantage of the cold UM shooting. Junior Tanae Davis-Cain made a three with 1:49 remaining that pushed the lead to five and hurt the Hurricanes for good.

“The resiliency they show after these tough losses is inspiring,” Meier said. “It’s frustrating because it’s not coming down to talent. Something different just pops up every game. We’re very challenged as a group to keep our spirits up. I got a team that tried to win tonight.”

Optimism and perseverance seem to be the focus of the players during this span of tough losses.

“It’s going to come to us eventually,” Meier said. “We’ve improved so much since the beginning of the season even though the records don’t show it.”

The Canes look to rebound next week when they take on the third-ranked Maryland Terrapins in Maryland Thursday night.

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