Miami Hurricanes soar past Coppin State Eagles in 78-59 win

With a 78-59 victory over the Coppin State Eagles at the BankUnited Center on Friday night, the Hurricanes improved to 9-0 and inched closer to matching its best start in team history. The team began the 2003 season 12-0.

Although the game was a win, it wasn’t the cleanest for the Canes. Miami committed 20 turnovers and failed to capitalize on numerous lose ball opportunities.

“Credit to Coppin State. They made us play ugly,” Head Coach Kate Meier said.

Meier also attributes the Canes’ sloppy play to fatigue and lack of practice.

“Honestly we have not really been able to practice; to be honest, we have been game prep, game prep and game prep. I would love the opportunity to clean this up,” Meier said. “We did not even practice yesterday because the Illinois game was so tough and so emotional.”

Despite the turnovers and chaotic play, there were plenty of positives for the Hurricanes to take away. Junior guard Jessica Thomas recorded an impressive stat line with 16 points, five assist and two steals. Canes also dominated the Eagles in a plethora of hustle categories. Miami scored 29 points off turnovers, compared to Coppin State’s 15. The Hurricanes were also strong on the boards, hauling in 44 rebounds, 17 of which came off the offensive glass.

Miami’s defense was strong from start to finish, as the Canes never trailed in the contest. The Eagles (2-5) were held scoreless for the first three minutes of the game. Redshirt junior forward Keyona Hayes led the defensive effort, recording three of the Canes’ 11 steals.

A strange moment in the early going of the second quarter brought a short pause to the game. A number of screws and bolts appeared to fall from the jumbotron.

“I have no idea. It looked like a bunch of washers rained down. I couldn’t really tell what it was,” Thomas said.

Junior guard Adrienne Motley left the game midway through the second quarter after running into a hard screen. Miami’s leading scorer coming into Friday’s contest received medical attention from the training staff and returned to the game at the beginning of the second half.

The team has been receiving votes from the AP poll and could potentially be ranked in the next AP poll released Sunday.

“I do without question believe we are a top-25 team,” Meier said.

The Canes next play UMass Lowell at 1 p.m. on Sunday at the BankUnited Center.