Miami women’s basketball declaws Pittsburgh Panthers, 77-55

The Miami women’s basketball team began its ACC tournament journey Thursday morning, starting in the historic Greensboro Coliseum with a 77-55 win over Pittsburgh in a lopsided second-round matchup. The Canes came into the game looking extremely focused after a disappointing end to the regular season on Sunday. The team came out hot on the offensive end, taking control of the game early and never looking back.

Junior guard Adrienne Motley led the way offensively in the first quarter, getting it done both in the paint and behind the three-point line while also getting other teammates involved. Freshman forward Emese Hof provided great contributions by scoring in the paint and controlling the boards on the defensive end. Miami’s offense was cooking as they finished out the first quarter with a six-point lead and shot a whopping 69 percent from the field.

Pitt really had no answers for Miami’s offense after the break leading into the second quarter, as junior guard Jessica Thomas masterfully facilitated the offense and created open looks for many of her teammates. The Canes continuously extended the lead throughout the second quarter before blowing the game wide open with an 18-4 run at the end of the first half. Great ball movement on the offensive end led to five players scoring six points or more by halftime, and helped Miami dash the Panthers ACC tournament hopes before they even got started.

Miami picked up right where it left off in the second half, and never took its foot off the pedal. The backcourt duo of Motley and Thomas led the Canes all afternoon, as the team continued to stay aggressive on the offensive end. Senior guard Michelle Woods reached a career milestone by scoring her 750th career point in the third quarter. The Canes cruised to a 22-point blowout victory in the fourth quarter, and finished the day shooting 60 percent from the field as a team.

This win sets up a Friday morning payback game against FSU. The Noles pulled away in the fourth quarter of a game in which the Canes led for a majority of regulation last Sunday, and Miami certainly has a bad taste left in its mouth after that one. The rematch will be another highly competitive matchup, but the Canes can certainly pull out a win and continue its ACC Tournament journey if the team shoots as well as it did Thursday.