Canes struggle in last minute schedule addition at NC State

After a series of postponements, the Hurricanes hit the road for the first time this season looking to upset No. 4 NC State. The Canes put up a less than stellar performance at the Reynold Coliseum, where they fell to the Wolfpack 78-47.

“We were preparing for Georgia Tech,” said head coach Katie Meier. “Then we turned the bus around. Then we weren’t sure if it was Louisville, so we were preparing for Louisville. Then that didn’t happen, so it became this game.”

The Canes’ matchups against Georgia Tech and No. 2 Louisville were postponed due to Covid-19 related protocol issues within both programs, leaving the Canes with little time to prepare for the Pack.

“That is no excuse whatsoever,” said Meier. “We have to learn what it takes to get wins in this league.”

Coming off what Meier described as an “ugly win” against North Carolina, the Canes (4-2, 1-2 ACC) were looking to be competitive against one of the two remaining undefeated ACC teams.

However, the team got off to a rough start. At the end of the first quarter the Canes trailed by 20 points shooting 26.7 percent from the field and seeing minimal success in the paint.

Meanwhile, the Pack (8-0, 3-0 ACC) were successful around the perimeter shooting 70 percent from the three as well as inside finishing the quarter shooting 57.1 percent from the field. Things did not get better for the Canes as they entered the half trailing by 32 points.

“We played a really, really great team,” said Meier. “We thought that just wanting to win was going to be enough. It takes a heck of a lot more preparation and effort than what we showed. We kind of bailed on each other and bailed on the game play.”

The productivity of NC State proved to be too much for the Hurricanes to overcome. Junior center Elissa Cunane was close to getting her fourth straight double-double of the season. She finished the day with 18 points and 7 rebounds.

Helping to lengthen the gap between the two sides, senior forward Kayla Jones and sophomores Jakia Brown-Turner and Kai Crutchfield combined for 34 points. The trio accounted for 43 percent of the Pack’s points.

“Credit to NC State, they rotate very very hard,” said Meier. “They moved the ball without a dribble, they did a phenomenal job.”

While the Wolfpack were explosive on offense, Miami suffered from its own struggles. Junior Destiny Harden who entered the game averaging 13.2 points per game and was coming off a career high 20-point game against UNC struggled to be productive. Harden finished the game with just three points.

“I think Destiny can play a heck of a lot better and has played a heck of a lot better,” said Meier.

With Harden struggling, senior guards Kelsey Marshall and Taylor Mason were able to record double digit games. Marshall finished the game with 14 points and Mason finished with 10, however the Canes struggled to get the rest of the team involved. The remaining players combined for only 23 points.

“I thought Taylor Mason the entire game played with great effort,” said Meier. “Kelsey hit some tough shots, but everyone else was missing pretty standard 15-foot pull ups or wide open threes.”

With the holiday season approaching the Canes will enter a ten day break. The team is scheduled to host Notre Dame on New Year’s Eve.