IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Miami players stood on the court during a timeout late in Sunday’s game against Iowa. There were no words spoken.
The Hawkeyes, slow and erratic in the first half, erupted for 42 points in the second to rally to a 69-53 win against the Miami Hurricanes in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Tournament at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.
“I don’t sugar-coat much and I think this is a shockingly poor performance by us on the offensive end,” Miami coach Katie Meier said. “I’m really disappointed.”
This was the third NCAA Tournament appearance in a row for the Hurricanes, and the second-consecutive tournament lost on their opponents’ home court.
The quicker Hurricanes (21-11) led much of the first half and held a 28-27 advantage at halftime thanks to out rebounding Iowa 32-17 and holding the Hawkeyes to 31 percent shooting. Thirteen turnovers, and 4-of-10 free throw shooting, though, prevented Miami from building a bigger lead.
Miami scored the first six points of the second half, but then Iowa guard Melissa Dixon went from non-factor to X-factor. Dixon, who had three turnovers, two fouls and zero points in the first half, made three three-pointers in 1:38 sparking an 11-1 run that turned a seven-point Iowa deficit into a three-point lead.
“I was very well rested,” Dixon joked after playing six minutes before halftime.
Miami bounced back to take a 41-40 lead two minutes later, but almost immediately another Hawkeyes run came and this one, seemingly, never stopped.
Iowa center Morgan Johnson scored seven points during an 18-3 burst, and during those eight minutes Miami saw free throws clank, lay-ups roll off the rim and passes stray from their target.
Miami, which averaged 19 turnovers a game, finished with 24.
“We had 24 turnovers and I didn’t see a press,” Meier said. “The ball means more to them than it means to us.”
Meier felt her team played too much on the perimeter and lost composure in the second half against Iowa’s oft-switching defense.
Miami’s 25 offensive rebounds produced 17 second-chance points.
“That’s almost hideous,” Meier said. “Twenty-five offensive rebounds has to be at least 25 points.”
Iowa coach Lisa Bluder lamented her team giving up 53 rebounds, but noted, “it really didn’t turn into much of an advantage for them.”
Miami center Shawnice Wilson finished with 15 points and 18 rebounds, but in the second half she felt her team “went away from what was working.”
Iowa was 4-of-7 on three-point attempts in the second half after going 1-of-4 in the first.
“We knew that they had great shooters, we just left them open,” Miami forward Morgan Stroman said.
Stroman had 15 points and eight rebounds on 6-of-9 shooting. The rest of the Hurricanes were 12-of-51.
Samantha Logic scored 13 of Iowa’s 27 first-half points and finished with a game-high 23 points. She added 11 rebounds as did Johnson.