Keyona Hayes eclipsed 1,000 career points, joining seniors Jessica Thomas and Adrienne Motley as the second trio of 1,000-point scorers in the history of the University of Miami. The only other trio – consisting of Kym Hope, Cassaundra Wimes, and Jennifer Jordan – pulled off the feat during the 1998-99 season.
“It was a goal for me coming in as a freshman,” Hayes said.
Coming off a loss to Florida State, Miami basketball got back on track by defeating Virginia 63-52 on Thursday night in the Watsco Center.
Senior Hayes led the way for the No. 16 Hurricanes, finishing with a double-double of 14 points and a season-high 13 rebounds. The starting backcourt of Thomas and Motley combined for 15 points in the victory.
“The thousand points for the three seniors is just so special,” Miami Coach Katie Meier said. “It’s just been a heck of a journey with these three, and they’re doing such a great job in their last opportunities.”
The Canes (18-6, 7-5 ACC) started off strong, jumping out to a 10-2 run right off the bat. They never looked back, holding the lead for the entire game.
UM’s 1-3-1 full-court press frustrated Virginia (15-9, 4-7 ACC) throughout the first half. The Canes used a trapping zone-defense in the half-court early on, suffocating the Cavalier offense. The match-up defense the Hurricanes employed later in the half was even more effective, limiting the Cavaliers to just six second-quarter points. Virginia shot just 8–25 from the field in the first half, turning the ball over 15 times.
Miami was able to find gaps in Virginia’s 2-3 zone, leading to 21 first-quarter points on 10–19 shooting. UM would take a 26-18 lead into the half.
The Canes picked up where they left off early in the third, bringing the score to 35-24. The Cavaliers brought the margin to five, but Hayes responded by scoring six straight to end the third.
“I was really pleased with the effort in our third quarter,” Meier said.
In the final frame, the Hurricanes continued to be the aggressors, taking a 15-point lead late. Virginia mounted a spirited comeback, giving Miami a brief scare. Meier was frustrated with her team’s sloppiness down the stretch, especially on the defensive end.
“We had such a great defensive effort, and for [the Cavaliers]to only have 31 going into the fourth, and get 21 in the fourth, that’s ridiculous,” Meier said.
The Canes were outrebounded 18-11 in the final frame, allowing the Cavaliers second-chance opportunities in the closing minutes.
Despite UM’s late struggles, it was too little, too late for Virginia. Miami never trailed, powered by a defense that held Virginia to just 34 percent shooting on the night.