The University of Miami women’s basketball players looked like Black Friday shoppers on a mission as the second half of Friday’s game against Illinois State got underway. They grabbed every ball in reach, raced up the court, filled up their basket time and again, and scored 30 consecutive points on their way to a 95-44 victory.
It was the first time the Hurricanes scored 90-plus points since Dec. 29, 2011, when they defeated VCU 91-61. It was also the Canes’ first win by 50-plus since a 77-24 home victory over North Florida on Nov. 9, 2012. UM coach Katie Meier said she believes it was the first 30-point scoring streak during her 10 years at Miami.
The Canes led the Redbirds by 20 at halftime Friday, 44-24, but Meier was not happy.
“I was angry at halftime, I really was,” Meier said. “I didn’t feel like we were respecting the game enough, weren’t playing hard defensively. They were conserving, I called them out on it.”
Adrienne Motley had 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Nigia Greene also scored 16. Jessica Thomas added 14 points with five assists. Freshman Keyanna Harris made the most of her 17 minutes with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting, three assists, two steals and a block.
“We were really happy for Keyanna Harris – we call her Keke – she didn’t get to play at all against Arizona State, but she had the best response,” Meier said, explaining that Harris was the most intense player at the next practice. “I went to her early to kind of say I’m going to reward that behavior and I thought she was great. I thought she played a great, great game. Really active on the defensive end and that helped a lot.”
The top rebounders were freshman Laura Quevedo (7), Jassany Williams (7), and Michelle Woods (6). The Canes combined for 17 steals and forced the Redbirds into 27 turnovers.
“Coming off the loss [to Arizona State], we really wanted to stay in focus and get better,” Thomas said. “It’s a lot of fun to see everybody giving their best for each other.”
UM shot 67 percent the first 10 minutes of the second half, while Illinois State was 0 for 11.
The game was the opener of Miami’s Thanksgiving Tournament. UM will play Tulsa, an 87-77 winner over Buffalo, at 1 p.m. Saturday.