The Miami Hurricanes women’s basketball team was in need of a win on Thursday night after a crushing loss at the hands of No. 4 Louisville, and when the going got tough, their veterans delivered in a win against Syracuse, 71-65. The Hurricanes’ balanced scoring attack was led in part by graduate transfer Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi, who poured in 14 points, which was tied for the team lead.
“She was great,” Katie Meier said of Djaldi-Tabdi.
UM had two other scorers in double figures, with transfer forward Lola Pendande adding 14 points and graduate guard Kelsey Marshall racking up 10 points, including some important free throws down the stretch to propel the Hurricanes to the hard-fought victory.
Miami (12-8, 5-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) finished with 42 points in the paint against Syracuse, feeding Pendande and Djaldi-Tabdi down low for numerous good looks near the basket.
“I thought that in our very short prep, that our concepts were very good,” Meier said.
The Canes also outrebounded Syracuse 53-36, which is something that Meier has harped on throughout the season.
“I said this is it, how willing are you going to be to pursue the ball,” Meier said.
Syracuse (9-11, 2-8 ACC) entered the contest with a record that did not tell the entire story, as they proved to be a formidable opponent for the Hurricanes. The Orange had four scorers in double-figures, with redshirt sophomore guard Tiesha Hyman and graduate guard Naje Murray both scoring 15 points to lead Syracuse’s attack.
The Orange stormed back in the fourth quarter after falling behind by as many as 13 points, but the Hurricanes ultimately were able to prevail against their New York rivals.
Hurricanes forward Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi, who transferred from Syracuse to Miami before this season, helped lead UM off the bench, proving just how much of an impact she has had on her new squad this season.
“It was great to see old faces that I know from the past years,” Djaldi-Tabdi said. “It was fun.”
The Canes brought in two transfer forwards before the start of the season, Djaldi-Tabdi and Pendande, who have both had an immediate impact with Miami.
“It was actually pretty easy to adjust because everybody was really nice to me,” Djaldi-Tabdi said. “Every coach was communicating with me [and] my teammates. It has been great for me so far.”
The Hurricanes will be back in action on Sunday at noon in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to take on No. 24 North Carolina.