Led by a career-high 23 points from redshirt senior forward Keyona Hayes, the No. 18 Miami Hurricanes upset the No. 9 Ohio State Buckeyes 94-89 in an overtime thriller in the 10th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge at the Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
“It was a great basketball game,” said Head Coach Katie Meier, who is in her 12th year at the helm of the Hurricanes. “In the end, I think we executed some real specific [plays], who should get the ball when and where, and we understood good, better, best in terms of shot selection and that probably won the game for us.”
After Miami (6-1) and Ohio State (5-3) traded baskets for most of the fourth quarter, senior co-captain guard Adrienne Motley nailed a pair of free throws putting Miami up 84-81 with 2.3 seconds left. The Buckeyes countered with a hail mary heave to Sierra Calhoun, who hit a three-pointer as time expired to send the game to overtime.
“The thing is, the score was wrong,” Meier said. “I’m going crazy, and I thought, ‘It’s just overtime.’ It’s tough, but I said, ‘We didn’t lose, y’all.’ They said, ‘We didn’t?’ I said, ‘No, the score is wrong. We made two free throws.’ It wasn’t deflating at all. We knew the worst thing that was going to happen was that they would tie it and we would go to overtime, and they did.”
In Miami’s first overtime of the young season, the team closed out the game on a 10-5 run to win its sixth consecutive game. The victory gives the Canes their first triumph over an AP top-10 team since the win over No. 4 Notre Dame on Jan. 8, 2015.
Miami opened up the game with an early 13-8 advantage, but Ohio State answered back with a 10-0 run over the next 4:17. The Buckeyes closed out the first period with a 22-17 advantage.
The Hurricanes jabbed back with a 16-2 run to regain the lead 33-24. Miami outscored Ohio State 24-8 in the second frame and headed into halftime with a 41-30 lead. Senior guard Nigia Greene led a balanced Miami attack with nine points going in the break.
The Canes defense swarmed Preseason Big-Ten Player of the Year Kelsey Mitchell in the first half, holding the All-American to 2-11 (18 percent) shooting and Ohio State to 10-31 (32 percent) shooting overall and 1-13 (8 percent) from behind the arc heading into the intermission.
The Buckeyes came out of the locker room in sync and used a 13-2 run later in the period grabbing a 59-57 lead. Hayes responded with a three-point play and the Canes took a 60-59 advantage going into the final frame of regulation.
Senior co-captain guard Jessica Thomas finished with 16 points shooting 50 percent from the field and chipped in five assists.
“This team is always giving each other confidence,” Thomas said after the victory. “We start the game telling each other we’re awesome. We had to answer on the road, big-time game. Coach always asks the seniors, ‘if not you, then who?’”
Junior forward/center Erykah Davenport finished with her first career double-double, notching 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. The Hurricanes outshot the Buckeyes from distance, shooting 7-15 from behind the arc compared to 8-28 shooting from Ohio State.
Miami will host Old Dominion at 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Watsco Center. The team will play its next eight games in the Miami area to close out the calendar year.