Road games challenge Canes

Courtesy HurricaneSports
Courtesy HurricaneSports

This week, with the Hurricanes men’s basketball team back in the top 25, the Lady Canes are also gaining momentum, receiving votes in the USA Today coaches poll for the third week in a row. The votes place the Canes in the top 35 in the NCAA.

“We got a lot of young kids out there that are getting unbelievable game experience on the road,” Head Coach Katie Meier said Sunday.

The Hurricanes women’s basketball team opened Atlantic Coast Conference play with a 4-0 win streak. This was broken on a road trip to Duke when the women failed to repeat the men’s success at Cameron Indoor and lost 68-53. They only need one more win to tie their 16 wins from last season.

Another tough away game resulted in a 68-55 loss to the No. 4 Louisville Cardinals on Sunday. The Hurricanes will only have one home game in a 24-day span.

“As long as we take these lessons and we figure out what it takes to win – we’ve held off at home, but on the road we just got to grow up a little bit,” Meier said.

Miami (15-5, 5-2 ACC) bounced back after the Duke game with a 67-58 home win over Virginia, but on Sunday, it couldn’t capitalize on an early lead against the Cardinals and continued its road woes. After the win over Virginia, the Hurricanes had played three games in six days.

“We’re exhausted,” Meier said after the game.

A week after the loss to Louisville, the women look to brush the dirt off their shoulders with another road matchup against the Pittsburgh Panthers. The Panthers (13-6, 3-3) will have to first play Duke at Durham before hosting the Hurricanes. Pittsburgh won their last game 78-70 when they hosted Boston College.

Senior Brianna Kiesel leads the Panthers,  averaging 18.1 points per game. Graduate student Monica Wignot is also averaging double points with 12.6 per game.

For Miami, sophomore Adrienne Motley leads the Hurricanes, averaging 16.6 points per game. She had a bit of a dry spell, scoring only eight against Virginia and Duke, but contributed 18 in the Louisville game. She hurt her ankle in the Virginia game but seemed to be fully recovered against the Cardinals.

Jassany Williams is the team’s leading rebounder, averaging 6.5 boards per game. Jessica Thomas is the second leading scorer with 9.1 points per game. She and Erykah Davenport had a breakout game against Virginia where Thomas scored her career-high 18 points and Davenport set a new career high with nine rebounds. Davenport also led the team with seven boards against the Blue Devils.

“Huge, huge minutes from Erykah,” Meier said. “And she’s been playing great in practice so we’re not surprised. And played very, very well, I think, at Duke against those monsters.”

Tipoff against Pittsburgh is set for 1 p.m.  Sunday in the Petersen Events Center.