The University of Miami women’s basketball team (12–7, 5–3 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)) lost on Thursday night, 71–61, to the No. 20 North Carolina State (NC State) Wolfpack (14–5, 4–4 ACC) at the Reynolds Coliseum. The loss ended a five-game winning streak for the Hurricanes.
“We jumped out early but got a little immature, offensively. Our bench has been awesome for us all year, but it was a tough environment and there was not a whole lot of communication when we needed it,” UM head coach Katie Meier said. “All the big-time games are like that and, usually, the NCAA Tournament is like that. We survived it and gave ourselves a chance by doing some incredibly special things in the third and fourth quarter, but NC State had a really nice shooting night.”
After the Wolfpack scored the first basket of the contest, Miami went on a 10–0 scoring run, including seven defensive stops. NC State answered right back with an 18–4 run to close the first quarter and take a 20–14 lead.
NC State dominated the second quarter, outscoring Miami, 15–5. All five of Miami’s points in the quarter came from senior Lola Pendande.
By the end of the frame, the Wolfpack led 35–19.
Coming out of halftime, Miami’s offense stepped up, as it shot 58.8% from the field in the third quarter. Pendande and senior Haley Cavinder each scored six points in the quarter and Miami received significant offensive help from four other players.
The Hurricanes continued their momentum from the third quarter into the fourth, as they went on a 7-0 scoring run to start the frame. The highlight was a 3-pointer from Haley Cavinder that cut NC State’s lead to eight.
Miami battled down the stretch, but ultimately, the deficit was too much, and the Hurricanes were defeated by 10 points.
Pendande led the Hurricanes in scoring with 21 points, which tied her career high. She also led the ‘Canes in rebounding with eight boards.
“What a warrior Lola was, we couldn’t go to her enough,” Meier said. “I also thought Haley’s bounce back in the second half was also really big because she was struggling in the first half.”
Haley Cavinder was the other Hurricane in double digits with 15 points on 7-of-16 shooting. 13 of her points came in the second half, as she shot 6-of-10 in the final 20 minutes.
“I have to give credit to NC State because they have not been shooting this percentage and they hit some big-time jumpers and pull ups,” Meier said. “Their backs were against the wall and they hit some big shots.”
The Hurricanes will return to play against the Boston College Eagles next Thursday, Jan. 26. The matchup at the Watsco Center is set to begin at 6 p.m., and the game will air on TV on Bally Sports.