For much of Sunday afternoon’s game, the play on the Watsco Center court was as sloppy as the weather outside.
The 17th-ranked University of Miami women’s basketball team, which scored 100 points in a victory over North Carolina on Thursday night, turned the ball over 27 times and struggled to score against Boston College but managed to pull out a 58-51 win.
One reason is that the Hurricanes forced the Eagles to cough up the ball 34 times, the most turnovers forced by UM this season.
The teams combined for 61 turnovers.
Keyanna Harris and Erykah Davenport came off the bench for UM and had five steals apiece. Jessica Thomas and Laura Cornelius each scored 15 points but also each had six turnovers.
Canes coach Katie Meier credited the Eagles defense for her team’s frustrations.
“Passing lanes that were open on a ball fake [against North Carolina], Boston College stays very disciplined and they don’t bite,” Meier said.
“They were doubling the post. Flooding us when we went baseline. I said in the locker room, ‘We took the bait — hook, line and sinker, and started swimming towards the Gulf of Mexico with it.’ They were inviting us to do things, and we took the invitation and RSVP’ed back and said, ‘Yup, we’ll be there, 2 p.m., I will attend.’ ”
The Hurricanes shot just 3 for 15 in the first quarter before finding their rhythm. They led 32-18 at halftime. But they let that 14-point lead evaporate in the second half, and the Eagles briefly pulled ahead 49-48 with 3:26 to go on a jumper by Georgia Pineau.
That is when the smallest player on the court — UM’s 5-6 senior guard Thomas — came up big. She scored six consecutive points over the next minute and a half to open the Canes’ lead back up to five.
A pair of steals by Harris during that stretch and heads-up defensive plays by Davenport and Khaila Prather were also critical.
UM improved to 16-5 overall and 5-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. BC, which got 21 points from Mariella Fasoula, slipped to 8-14 and 1-8 in the ACC.
“It was an amazing amount of energy we spent on the defensive end,” Meier said.
“At halftime, I said if we were a football team and there was 20 minutes, our time of possession was five and 15 minutes of ridiculous, hard defense. But there were times it looked like a game of catch. We threw it to BC, they threw it back.”
Added Cornelius: “These games you have to win, although it’s ugly. But we had too many turnovers. We can’t afford that against other ACC teams.”