In a game that was defined by scoring-runs from both teams, the Miami Hurricanes (3-0) defeated the IUPUI Jaguars (2-1) 74-65 at the Watsco Center Sunday afternoon Nov. 18.
Miami trailed 49-46 heading into the fourth quarter, but a 16-point fourth-quarter performance from junior Mykea Gray and a career-high 23-points from junior Endia Banks helped Miami pull away in the end.
“Our fourth quarter was brilliantly executed,” head coach Katie Meier said after the win. “On the defensive end, on the offensive end, different looks out of our presses, everything we worked on the kids really, really executed. So, credit to my staff and certainly to my leaders for pulling us through. Endia was spectacular.”
The first quarter remained close throughout as both teams got off to a slow start, shooting 28.6 and 35.3 percent from the field respectfully. Banks and junior guard Kelsey Marshall both scored six points each to help the Canes take a 15-10 lead going into the second quarter.
The Jaguars started the second quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 17-15 lead. After three different lead changes and three ties with about four minutes left to play, the Canes ended the quarter on a 16-4 run and took a 37-25 lead at halftime. Banks scored seven of her nine second-quarter points during that stretch.
“I just felt like I had to do what my team needed me to do,” Banks said after the game. “I was being aggressive and taking what the defense gave us.”
Banks had tied her career-high at 15 points by halftime and seemed to have an answer every time the Jaguars went on a run.
The Jaguars came out strong to start the third quarter and used a 9-0 run to cut the lead to two, forcing Miami to take a timeout only four minutes into the quarter. But Banks again helped Miami go on a 9-3 run to push the lead back up to nine. The Jaguars would grab the momentum back though, ending the quarter on a 12-0 run and taking a three-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Jaguars shot 71.4 percent from the field and outscored Miami 24-9 in the third quarter.
“I did not expect my team to play the third quarter the way they did,” Meier said “It starts with a beautifully executed play and Beatrice has a point-blank lay-up and misses it. That’s two points and that turned into the 9-0 run just because we couldn’t believe we missed that shot. The whole team kind of lost its energy and then we started throwing the ball all over the gym.”
Gray was held scoreless throughout the first three quarters as she got into foul trouble, but immediately made an impact when she was put in the fourth quarter. The guard had a stretch where she scored nine straight points for Miami, including a four-point play.
“She had an amazing fourth quarter,” Meier said, “I told her stay on the bike, stay warm and I was going to her at the five-minute mark and we did.”
Redshirt senior Beatrice Mompremier also got it going in the fourth quarter for Miami, adding eight in that quarter alone. Mompremier ended the game with 20 points and 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. Miami outscored the Jaguars 28-16 in the fourth quarter while shooting 63.6 percent from the field to close out the win.
Miami will hit the road for two games as they will play in the Maggie Dixon Classic in Chicago. The Canes will take on North Carolina A&T on Friday, Nov. 22 and the winner of Depaul vs. Arkansas State on Saturday, Nov. 23.