WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Squad doomed by slow start

Poor shooting and foul trouble put Miami into a hole they couldn’t dig out of Sunday as the Canes fell to Wake Forest, 50-45.

Miami (9-18, 2-10 ACC) fell behind early, failing to score a basket in the first five minutes. The Demon Deacons (15-13, 2-11 ACC) held a 6-0 lead before senior Maurita Reid broke the drought with two of her 15 points.

“[It was] our worst start to begin a game all season,” said head coach Katie Meier. “It was all about the energy level. You could see it in the players’ body language and faces. They just physically looked depleted. We just needed to be louder in our huddles and demand extra effort.”

Despite hitting only 27.6 percent of their shots during the first half, Miami stayed competitive thanks to their defense, which kept Wake Forest’s offense seven points below its average and had 13 steals.

“We showed multiple defenses and pressured the ball,” Meier said. “Key rebounds made the comeback. Defensively, we’re putting in the effort and offensively we need to make adjustments and get on the same page. There was great chemistry on defense.”

Despite her high point total, Reid was plagued by foul trouble and fouled out late in the game.

“[It didn’t have] as much an effect as you’d think,” Meier said. “[Reid] couldn’t be as aggressive on defense but she played very, very hard and a ton of minutes, and she covered a lot of ground on the court. Someone else needs to make the shot.”

Wake Forest junior Alex Tchangoue had a season-high 18 points and junior Corinne Groves added 12 points and 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the year.

Freshman Epiphany Woodson, playing near her hometown, struggled from the field with only five points on 1-13 shooting for Miami, but she put in 36 minutes and had a team-high seven rebounds.

Miami now anticipates their final road game of the season against Florida State Thursday night, looking to avenge their tough 75-70 overtime loss from a little over a month ago.

“That was a real tough loss in OT and it really hurt our team spirit,” Meier said. “We’re planning on going up to FSU and getting the same energy and tough defense and work out the kinks on offense.”

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