Adrienne Motley will have to wait until at least Sunday to reach 1,000 career points.
She was two points shy of the milestone Friday afternoon, and the University of Miami led Milwaukee by 30 points with just under five minutes to go, but Hurricanes coach Katie Meier pulled Motley out, along with several other starters.
Meier had more pressing matters on her mind than Motley’s milestone.
Although Miami wound up winning 77-38 after dominating the fourth quarter 26-4, Meier was displeased with her team’s “very disjointed” play in the first half. She challenged the five players who started the fourth quarter to get from 51 to 65 points in five minutes, and they obliged. She then subbed all five to give bench players more experience.
“[Assistant] Coach [Octavia] Blue said, ‘She’s two away,’ and I was like, ‘Well, she’ll get it the next game’ because she’s going to score a heck of a lot more than 1,000,” Meier said. “She’s on pace to maybe get to 2,000, so I don’t think we need to stop the game. Frankly, she’s such a competitor she doesn’t need to get it just to get it. She’ll get it when the time is right.”
Motley finished with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting, and also had five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Though she didn’t reach 1,000, she was delighted to see freshman center Zada Williams score in the final minutes.
“We play again Sunday [against LaSalle], so it’s not like I have to wait a long time,’’ Motley said. “I just let my teammates come in and get opportunities.”
Freshman guard Laura Cornelius was the only other Hurricane in double digits with 10 points. Despite some struggles, UM outshot Milwaukee 44-8 in the paint and its bench outscored the Panthers’ 31-2
Meier said she “over-subbed” in the first half because players were making mistakes.
“Everybody’s working really hard in practice, so if you’re not going to chase down a rebound, I’m going to take you out,’’ she said. “If you’re not going to remember the play and run it properly, I’m taking you out. Nobody likes it. I believe I’m the one who should be pouting because you didn’t remember the play. Or you didn’t box out. I don’t like it to be disjointed either, but l’m not going to let little things go and not address behavior that isn’t going to help us win a championship.’’
Miami (6-0) faces LaSalle on Sunday in the final game of the Miami Thanksgiving Classic. Meier said she hadn’t had time to scout them because the Canes played three road games over six days and took a day off for Thanksgiving.
“I feel like we’re the Miami Heat with this schedule,’’ Meier joked. “I’m gonna call [Heat coach Erik] Spoelstra and see when he sleeps. It’s been crazy. We’ve been playing and playing and playing, on the road three games already, add Thanksgiving in there, there goes another day.
“You can hear in my voice I’m a little tired. Now, we regroup, and here we go again Sunday and then Wednesday [against Illinois]. It’s been fun. I like it. But I’m not sleeping much.’’