The Miami Hurricanes’ schedule in women’s basketball isn’t easy, but it has gotten easier, according to the national rankings.
The question is: Can they take advantage?
So far, the answer is … not really.
“I feel bad for our fans at home,” Canes coach Katie Meier said after Miami lost to visiting Atlantic Coast Conference rival Syracuse 69-48 on Thursday night. “We don’t have any personality when we play at home.
“We are a heck of a fun team when we play on the road. I have to change routine or something.
“We just keep laying eggs at home. That was one of our worst performances of the year.”
Miami (13-13, 5-8 Atlantic Coast Conference) is now 1-5 in home ACC games and 4-3 on the road.
Thursday’s loss marked the second of five consecutive games against unranked teams.
The Canes have split those first two games, winning at Florida State on Sunday.
Since ACC play began Jan. 4, the Canes, prior to this run, had not played more than two unranked teams in a row before having to face a Top 25 school.
The next three games are home against Wake Forest on Sunday, at Virginia next Thursday and home against Pittsburgh on March 2. All three are under .500 in conference play.
After that comes the ACC tournament and the NCAA Tournament. Canes Meier has opined that if Miami (13-13, 5-8) can finish .500 or better in ACC play, they should make the NCAA Tournament.
On Thursday, Miami led 10-2 early. After that, Syracuse outscored the Canes by 29 points.
Syracuse (19-8, 8-6) led 27-24 at the break and started the second half on a 23-7 run. Miami never cut the deficit to single digits after that.
“The way we started the second half, that has to be on me,” Meier said.
“I don’t have the solution right now. But I will work my butt off to find that solution.”
Canes freshman guard Adrienne Motley, who entered the game having scored in double figures for 10 consecutive games, was held to five points. She took just five shots, making two.
Meier said the reason for that was that Motley was needed “at the top,” setting up plays, instead of on the wing in a scoring mode.
“We had her at the top too much,” Meier said. “We were turning it over so much. I trust Motley, but I couldn’t move her around. Whenever I put someone else at the top, we turned it over.”
Sophomore guard Caprice Dennis, who came off the bench to lead Miami with14 points, said the Canes seem to get complacent at home.
“When we do something well on the road, we relax,” Dennis said. “We come back home and expect the same result without the same preparation.
“The coaching staff puts together a tremendous scouting report, but we as players get too relaxed.”