Playing like a team trying to impress a few more Associated Press voters, the University of Miami women dominated from start to finish and beat Clemson 79-42 at BankUnited Center on Thursday night.
It was the Canes’ sixth win in a row and 12th in the past 13 games.
After double-digit wins over No.4 Notre Dame and Virginia Tech, the Hurricanes were on the cusp of the AP and USA Today polls this week. Thursday’s 37-point victory will strengthen their case as they head into a road game Sunday at No.13 Duke, UM coach Katie Meier’s alma mater.
The Hurricanes (14-3, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) held the Tigers (9-9, 1-4) scoreless for 14 minutes, outrebounded them 44-22 and forced them into 17 turnovers. Necole Sterling was 4of6 from three-point range and led UM with 17 points. Adrienne Motley scored 15, and Michelle Woods had 12. Jass Williams had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
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“If you don’t love this team yet, you’re missing something,’’ Meier said. “Defense means everything. Defense is fun. One thing about this team that I love, what other teams don’t like to do, we love to do.
“If you had 10 minutes to practice, a lot of teams would practice three-point shots and fun little SportsCenter layups. This team would practice its defensive stance and boxing out. That is where we get our energy, and it really showed [Thursday night].’’
UM was playing its second game without forward Laura Quevedo, who left the team unexpectedly after the Notre Dame win to go back to Spain. She is reportedly signing with a pro club there.
“We were really caught off guard,’’ Meier said of Quevedo’s departure. “Right after the Notre Dame game she asked to meet me. She said she’d be a lot happier in Spain, needed to go home and be with her family. It took us by surprise. We wish her the best.’’