Although four Hurricanes scored in double figures, the University of Miami women’s basketball team dropped a close game at No. 9 Louisville 63-59 on Sunday afternoon.
“I’m not disappointed,” Head Coach Katie Meier said. “This is one of those games that the winner goes to the Final Four. That’s how good of a basketball game it was. We’ll get the next one.”
The Canes (14-4, 3-3 ACC) shot 41 percent from the field while holding the Cardinals (16-4, 4-2 ACC) to 37 percent shooting, however, rebounding plagued UM. Louisville, who is third in the nation in rebounds per game, held a 46-31 advantage on the glass, including 12 more offensive boards that led to a 16-5 edge in second chance points.
“We played a heck of a game defensively,” Meier said. “In the end, they got three offensive rebounds in the last minute and that was the story of the whole game. I wish at the end there we had just gotten one of those rebounds and I think we come out of here victorious.”
The Cardinals jumped out to an early 18-11 lead after one period of play. Of Louisville’s 18 points in the first frame, 12 were scored in the paint.
Miami answered on the defensive end, holding Louisville scoreless for the first 4:50 of the second quarter. The Hurricanes trimmed the lead to one possession with 5:54 left in the half with a triple from senior guard Nigia Greene.
Louisville closed out the second period on a 12-7 run, capped off by a three-pointer by forward Mariya Moore, who led the team in scoring with 24 points in the waning seconds of the half, to give the Cardinals a 32-25 advantage entering the intermission.
Coming out of the break, Louisville extended its lead to nine, but Miami answered back with a 7-2 run over the last 2:52 to trim the deficit to four heading into the final quarter.
“We made some offensive adjustments,” Meier said. “I thought they shared the ball a little better, extended the defense and then got downhill.”
The Hurricanes pulled to within one on a field goal by redshirt senior forward Keyona Hayes with 1:21 to play, but were unable to score the rest of the way.
UM was led by senior guard Adrienne Motley, who finished with a team-high 13 points, six assists and six rebounds.
Senior co-captain Jessica Thomas chipped in 11 points and five assists, while Hayes and sophomore forward/center Emese Hof both finished with 10 points and combined for seven rebounds.
Forward Myisha Hines-Allen, the reigning ACC Player of the Year, tallied 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Cardinals — her eighth double-double of the season.
Miami will look to bounce back against Syracuse at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday at the Carrier Dome.