Miami women’s basketball falls for first time in ACC play

Michelle Woods shoots over a defender during Sunday afternoon's 68-53 loss to Duke
Michelle Woods shoots over a defender during Sunday afternoon’s 68-53 loss to Duke. // Courtesy HurricaneSports

DURHAM, NC — Up until Sunday, the Miami women’s basketball team had won six in a row, and 12 of 13. They suffered just their second loss in 30 days, as No. 14 Duke utilized its height and interior defense en route to a 68-53 win over Miami Sunday afternoon in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Elisabeth Williams had 24 points, and Azura Stevens added 20 for the Blue Devils (13-5, 4-1 ACC), who shot a phenomenal 54.5 percent from the field for the game, many on shots around the basket.

Miami (14-4, 4-1) was led be Necole Sterling, who buried a career-high five three-pointers, but fell victim to shooting woes everywhere else.

Adrienne Motley, coming off espnW National Player of the Week honors, scored just eight points on 3-16 shooting, as the Canes finished just 18-69 (26.1 percent) from the field for the game.

“We took too many threes, and that’s a credit to Duke,” said Coach Meier after the game. “I think they invited us into a trap, which we walked right into with both feet.”

The Canes shot 37 threes in the game, converting on eight, a 21.6 percent clip. Five of those threes were from Sterling – the rest of the team was 3-26.

Jass Williams saw herself in early foul trouble, tallying two fouls in the first five minutes, and had to sit the rest of the half. It certainly did not help in the game plan against Williams and Stevens, who had any shot in the paint they wanted seemingly at will.

“Obviously we couldn’t combat it much, and the ones who could combat it were in a little foul trouble. So that made it difficult. Basically it was size versus speed, and I told my team speed can win the game if we play fast and we pressure, but we didn’t really bring the pressure,” Meier said. “We were hesitant; we backed up a little bit. So size won today.”

To that point, Duke out-rebounded Miami 47-33.

Miami will have an opportunity to rebound quickly, hosting Virginia on Wednesday night, before heading to Louisville next weekend for a matchup with the No. 4 Cardinals.