A pair of Miami natives in Maryland Terrapin uniforms spoiled Sunday afternoon for the University of Miami women’s basketball team.
Maryland senior guard Ieshia Small, a former McDonald’s All-American from Krop High, scored 23 points and had 10 rebounds to lead the 15th-ranked Terrapins to a 79-71 win over UM in the championship game of the Miami Thanksgiving Tournament. Freshman Terrapin guard Channise Lewis of Miami Country Day chipped in 12 points, including back-to-back baskets down the stretch, and had five rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal.
Small dedicated the game to her late-mother, Michelle Robinson, who died in 2011 of a heart attack at age 48. Small’s father had passed away when she was 13, so the death of her mother left her an orphan, and she was adopted by her Tallahassee AAU coach Kimberly Davis-Powell and her husband, Kelvin. A large contingent of Small’s and Lewis’ relatives and friends cheered them on from the WATSCO Center stands.
“This game was inspired by my Mom,” Small said, through tears, after the game. “This game was for her. I’m so blessed to have this opportunity. Not too many people get to go home their senior year and play in front of family and friends. It was nice to have Thanksgiving with my uncle and other family.”
The Hurricanes (4-2) were led by freshman guard Mykea Gray, who scored 21 points in 24 minutes. She was one of three freshmen in double figure for UM. Guard Kelsey Marshall, a teammate of Maryland’s Lewis at Country Day, had 11 points, and Endia Banks added 10 and had three steals.
UM senior Erykah Davenport was 2-for-11 from the field, but grabbed 15 rebounds — 10 on the defensive end. It was the third game in a row in which she had double-digit rebounds.
“This was a really nice basketball game, and we know why we lost,” said UM coach Katie Meier. “We missed some shots at the rim, good looks, that’s tough. People ask, ‘Are your freshmen good?’ I don’t care if they’re good. I care if they’re gamers, and they’re gamers. I never said, ‘Oh, I can’t put the freshmen in at this moment.’
“If we play that hard, and the things we need to fix are controllable things, we’re going to win a lot more games than people think.”