Miami women’s basketball kicked off its season with an impressive 88-28 exhibition win over Barry University on Wednesday evening at the Watsco Center.
From the jump ball to the final buzzer, Miami was in total control of this game both offensively and defensively.
“During the first half, we were absolutely thrilled with our performance. The numbers kind of look the same, but I thought the first half was so much cleaner,” head coach Katie Meier said. We shared the ball and ran the floor and the defensive intensity was there. In the second half, we had a huge commitment to the glass and had a ridiculous amount of the offensive rebounds. It was a fun start.”
Senior forward Lola Pendande led all players in scoring with 17 points, while graduate senior forward Destiny Harden had 11 and senior guard Haley Cavinder and freshman forward Lazaria Spearman each had 10 points of their own.
Harden and Spearman were each one rebound shy of double-doubles, both with nine rebounds.
The ‘Canes had the size advantage on the interior, which led to 56 points in the paint and a 59-31 rebound advantage over Barry.
Pendande showed her footwork and versatile ways of scoring around the rim. She went to the drop-step mainly but showed her ability to make turnaround jumpers from just inside the free-throw line.
Haley and Hanna Cavinder, who are twins that transferred from Fresno State for their senior year, impacted the game.
Haley shot 4-for-6 from the field while going 2-for-2 from beyond the arc, and Hanna showed her passing ability by tallying a team-high six assists.
Collectively, the team shot 51.4% from the field and 35.3% from the 3-point line.
“Everybody scored, so that’s great, and I think we shared the minutes really well,” Meier said. “We have some real talent coming off the bench, as well.”
While the ‘Canes played an exceptional offensive game, their swarming defense is what really stood out.
Sophomore guards Jasmyne Roberts and Lashae Dwyer shared a team-high four steals each. They accounted for eight of the team’s total 18 steals.
Miami forced 28 total turnovers while allowing Barry to shoot only 19.3% from the field.
Whether they were in a zone or man-to-man defense, the Hurricanes communicated well and were all on the same page on nearly every possession which is why they were able to force so many turnovers and a low shooting percentage.
They were also able to turn their defense into offense, scoring 32 points off turnovers.
Miami will begin its regular season against Maryland Eastern Shore on Nov. 7 at 4 p.m. at the Watsco Center.