Miami derailed in second half, falls to Washington State

Miami was unable to sustain its undefeated start to the regular season, losing 62-47 to the Washington State Cougars in their first matchup of the Baha Mar Hoops Pink Flamingo Championship on Thursday.

Senior guards Karla Erjavec and Mykea Gray combined for 18 points to lead the Hurricanes, despite the Cougars’ 8-for-12 mark early. Miami (4-1) rallied for 16 points in the second period while keeping Washington State (4-0) to seven.

“There’s no question that we are very disjointed and aren’t really a smooth offensive team,” Miami head coach Katie Meier said. “Washington State made some great adjustments at halftime and really got after it and we couldn’t overcome that gap.”

After an even halftime score of 25, the Cougars exploded for 25 in the third. Washington State center Bella Murekatete fueled the charge on 4-for-6 shooting for 12 points, following a scoreless first half. Guards Krystal and Charlisse Leger-Walker produced 21 combined points to keep pressure on the Hurricanes’ scoring defense, which had ranked 20th in the nation earlier this week.

Outrebounded 39-27, UM scored 22 points in the entire second half. Junior guard Moulayna Johnson Sidi Baba posted seven in 11 minutes of the half aside Erjavec’s five, while the Hurricanes attempted to weather a 16-5 Cougars run in the third quarter and a 2-for-13 drought.

Miami’s scoring percentage rose to 41.7% in the fourth, yet Washington State’s 13-of-24 mark proved to be too threatening, even given its 25 turnovers committed.

Up next, the Hurricanes take on No. 4 Indiana Saturday inside the Baha Mar Convention Center. The Hoosiers lost to No. 7 Stanford 69-66 in their first matchup of the multi-game event. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.