One of the most diehard University of Miami women’s basketball fans — Edna Shalala, mother of UM president Donna Shalala — died on Tuesday at age 103. Hurricanes players wore “ES’’ patches in her memory for Thursday night’s home game against Wisconsin.
She would have enjoyed the Canes’ performance. They played dogged defense and beat the Badgers 66-54 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
The Hurricanes improved to 5-2. The Badgers dropped to 1-5.
Suriya McGuire opened the game with a three-pointer from the corner, hit another one two minutes later, and by the end of the night she had 19 points on 7-of-16 shooting. She also had five of UM’s 18 steals.
Adrienne Motley, living up to her “Money” nickname, led the Canes with 21 points to go along with seven rebounds, six assists and two steals.
Miami forced Wisconsin into 28 turnovers, which resulted in 28 points. UM also had 21 offensive rebounds to just three for Wisconsin. Michala Johnson, a 6-3 UConn transfer and the Badgers’ scoring leader with 16.7 points per game, went down nine minutes into the game and never returned.
“On a night where we had only two players whose offense was coming through, you better offensive rebound and get some steals,” UM coach Katie Meier said. “That’s what we did. In huge moments, when Wisconsin had a little life, we had a key steal or rebound.”
The Hurricanes opened with an 11-0 run and led by 10 eight minutes in, but then they hit a cold spell. The Badgers scored eight points in a row and closed the gap to 22-20. Motley made two timely baskets to give the Hurricanes some breathing room, and they led 36-27 at halftime.
“We didn’t do well after the 11-0 start,” Meier said. “Our lead shouldn’t shrink like that. Credit to Wisconsin. They were missing players, have been traveling all over the place and looked fresher than us at times. That is something we need to talk about.”
Nicole Bauman and Jacki Gulczynski led Wisconsin with 18 points apiece.
The Canes are back home Saturday against Jacksonville at 4 p.m. The UM men’s team plays Wisconsin-Green Bay at 2p.m.