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.
“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.’’