Unlike the Hurricane men’s double-overtime cliffhanger the night before, there was little drama in the University of Miami women’s Atlantic Coast Conference home opener Sunday afternoon.
The Hurricanes led from start to finish, four players hit double figures, and they put away Boston College 74-53 to give coach Katie Meier her 250th career victory. She was honored after the game with an on-court ceremony, a commemorative jersey and a bouquet of flowers.
Meier credited the UM administration, players and her staff, making special mention of assistant coach Darrick Gibbs.
“Coach Gibbs was there for about 222 of those, except two years, he’s been with me the whole time,” she said.
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“Great administration, flowers and a jersey, which is so sweet, and the college president on the court. I just don’t think many women’s basketball coaches get that kind of love across the country,” said Meier, who is in her 14th year as a coach, 10th at UM.
The players didn’t know Meier’s milestone was on the line.
“If we had known, we’d have scored 100 points for her,” said Adrienne Motley, who led UM with 16 points and five steals.
Meier and her team don’t plan to spend much time celebrating because fourth-ranked Notre Dame (13-1) comes to town on Thursday riding a 17-game ACC win streak. The Canes (11-3) will have their hands full.
“I think we’re ready,” Motley said. “Of course, it’s not going to be easy. But if we come prepared, with the intensity we showed [Sunday], they’re going to be surprised. A lot of teams are still sleeping on us.”
The Eagles struggled from the start Sunday, missing 23 of their first 29 shots. Miami led 34-23 at halftime. Although it was a comfortable lead, BC ended the half with six unanswered points, which did not sit well with Meier. She wrote on the board in the locker room: “They did a 6-0 run to end the half. What is your response?”
The Canes answered with four quick threes in the opening minutes of the second half — two by sophomore Jessica Thomas and two by freshman Laura Quevedo — and stretched their lead to 51-27.
Meier was most proud of her team’s defensive effort. The Canes held the Eagles to 27.4 percent shooting and 19 points below their average.
“What struck me about this game is our unbelievable commitment to defense,” Meier said. “We’ve got really deep roots on the defensive on this team. We’ve had other teams that would put on a show, but weren’t really that committed to defense, but this particular team has really bought in.”
Quevedo, who had 13 points and eight rebounds, injured her ankle with five minutes to go and limped off the court. Meier said it doesn’t appear to be serious.