University of Miami

18th-ranked UM women prove they’re ‘legit’ with road upset of No. 9 Ohio State

Ohio State Buckeyes forward Makayla Waterman (24) misses on a steal attempt against Miami Hurricanes guard Jessica Thomas (3) during the first half of a NCAA women's basketball game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Miami Hurricanes on Thurs., Dec. 1, 2016 at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Ohio State Buckeyes forward Makayla Waterman (24) misses on a steal attempt against Miami Hurricanes guard Jessica Thomas (3) during the first half of a NCAA women's basketball game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Miami Hurricanes on Thurs., Dec. 1, 2016 at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. TNS

University of Miami women’s basketball coach Katie Meier had five words to describe the 18th-ranked Hurricanes’ 94-89 overtime upset over No. 9 Ohio State on Thursday night:

“Drama. Drama. Drama. Drama. Drama.”

Meier admitted she was a bit drained Friday morning after late-game excitement and a flight home that didn’t arrive until 2:30 a.m.

The scoreboard at the Schottenstein Center was incorrect at the end of regulation, showing UM ahead by just one instead of three, so when Sierra Calhoun made a three-pointer at the buzzer for the Buckeyes, the home fans went crazy, thinking they had won. The Miami players looked deflated. But Meier and Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff both knew the score was wrong, and approached the referee.

They fixed the scoreboard, and that gave the Hurricanes a jolt of energy. They outscored the Buckeyes 10-5 in overtime, and clinched the victory in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. It was their first road win over a Top 10 opponent since they beat No. 6 North Carolina on Feb. 2, 2014.

“There was a lot of dancing in the locker room afterward, and I let them go,” Meier said. “I specifically told them before the game that if they want to be a legit team, they need to get Top-10 road wins. They need to go into someone else’s house and steal a win. And they did that.”

Keyona Hayes, a redshirt senior forward, scored a career-high 23 points – with 17 of them coming after halftime. Junior Erykah Davenport recorded her first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Hurricanes improved to 6-1, their lone loss in the season-opener at Kentucky.

Jessica Thomas scored 16 points with five assists, Laura Cornelius had 11 and Adrienne Motley dished a career-high eight assists and scored eight points.

“I just thought we had good confidence and good rhythm,” Meier said. “We were prepared, frankly, to win this game. We showed that in the first half. Then, when it got away from us, it was another thing we had to learn about our team (and we had) a heck of a response."

The Hurricanes began the second quarter on a 16-2 run, including scoring 11 consecutive points in a span of one minute and 33 seconds to take a 33-24 lead. They forced the Buckeyes into nine second-quarter turnovers, held them scoreless for more than six minutes, and outscored them 24-8 in the quarter.

Miami did a particularly good job early against Ohio State junior guard Kelsey Mitchell, the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year. She was held to 2-of-11 shooting in the first 20 minutes. She went on to score 29 points, but her early struggles gave UM momentum. The Buckeyes were 1-of-13 from three-point range in the first half.

“I knew we had the talent to win a game like that, wasn’t sure we had the maturity, but we did,” Meier said.

The Canes play at home Sunday at 2 p.m. against Old Dominion.

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