Hurricanes looking for second straight win against ‘very, very talented’ North Carolina

Freshman guard Lashae Dwyer drives towards the basket against Syracuse at the Watsco Center on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2022.
Freshman guard Lashae Dwyer drives towards the basket against Syracuse at the Watsco Center on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2022. Photo credit: Alex Carnochan

When the Miami Hurricanes women’s basketball team needed to deliver in the fourth quarter, the team came through in the biggest way.

Miami took down the Syracuse Orange on Thursday night at the Watsco Center, and now looks to follow up its victory on Sunday at noon in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Hurricanes (12-8, 5-5 ACC) are sitting at eighth place in the Atlantic Coast Conference, while No. 24 North Carolina (17-4, 7-4 ACC) enters the contest in sixth, following a win over Wake Forest.

The Hurricanes are looking to take down their second AP Top 25 opponent, with the Georgia Tech being the only other ranked team the Canes have defeated this season. Miami hung tough with No. 4 Louisville Tuesday night, the last time the team took on a ranked opponent.

“It was a tough loss against Louisville, but I think when we came back from this kind of loss, we just [wanted] to be better and win the next games coming up,” graduate forward Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi said. “So, I think we’re ready to be focused for the next game against Carolina and to give 100% on the court.”

Without a true practice on Wednesday, UM head coach Katie Meier’s team was able to knock off Syracuse by six points on their home floor last time out.

“We’ve got a tough February, we really do,” Meier said on the team’s upcoming schedule. “The fact that we got the win, now we go out to [North] Carolina, it’s a place where we really enjoy playing. [North Carolina is] a very, very talented team.”

The Tar Heels are coming off a 19-point win against Wake Forest and were led by Alyssa Ustby’s 18 points and 10 rebounds.

“They are a very, very talented team,” Meier said of UNC. “We can’t have five minutes of fog and come out with a win up there.”

The Hurricanes have been inconsistent since the beginning of ACC play, alternating between a win and a loss in each of the team’s last six games. The last time Miami won back-to-back games was when it defeated Clemson and Georgia Tech on Jan. 13 and Jan. 16, respectively.

Miami currently sits at 65th in the country in NCAA NET ranking, according to the NCAA.com, and was listed as a “Next Four Out” team in ESPN’s latest edition of Women’s Bracketology.

The goal for UM is to get to the NCAA Tournament in March, but the team plays some tough games moving forward, starting with North Carolina. The Canes will then have to face Notre Dame, currently ranked 20th in the nation, as well as a rematch with Georgia Tech, who sits at 12th in the nation.