Straight from the start, Miami looked like a completely different team than the one that lost to Florida State in its previous game.
The Hurricanes had the lead for nearly the entire game and dominated the Pittsburgh Panthers 82-58 Thursday, Feb. 15, at the Watsco Center.
“We talked about this team being like a Swiss army knife,” Miami coach Katie Meier said. “Everybody’s role changes through all the adversity.”
The Canes (18-8, 8-5 ACC) pulled down 45 rebounds, 18 of which were on the offensive end – leading to 20 second-chance points.
Senior forward Erykah Davenport put up another 20-point performance to lead UM, hitting 10 of her 12 shots from the floor to go along with four rebounds and four assists.
“This stretch is no joke,” Davenport said on her consistency. “Physically you get tired. No matter if it’s Notre Dame, Louisville, Clemson, or Pitt – across the board, the ACC is day-in and day-out. Staying locked in mentally is my focus.”
Miami took a blow before the game when senior starter Shannese Bailey was ruled out because of a leg injury.
“We really don’t know,” Meier said on the status of Bailey. “Hopefully she’s good, but we don’t have a time frame.”
Because of Bailey’s injury, fellow senior Keyanna Harris got the start for the Hurricanes and put up 13 points, six rebounds and seven assists.
Harris said that each player on the Hurricanes is one that will fight for every play on defense.
Pittsburgh (10-16, 2-11 ACC) was led by freshman guard Alayna Gribble, who put up 17 points and shot a perfect 4 of 4 from three-point range in the first half.
“We had to talk a little bit more and be a lot more alert,” Meier said about the coverage of Gribble. “She’s a heck of a shooter. I knew she was capable. If she’s open, it’s going in. We left her open, and we didn’t in the second half.”
Miami began to pull away in the second quarter when it went on a 13-2 run, giving the Canes a 42-29 lead.
Miami shot 51 percent on the night and finished with 26 total assists.
The Canes look to continue the winning against the Virginia Cavaliers at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at John Paul Jones Arena.
Pitt looks to snap a three-game losing streak against the Syracuse Orange at 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Petersen Events Center.