University of Miami

UM women cruise past Coppin State, improve to 9-0

Jessica Thomas, shown during UM media day, scored 16 points to help the Canes beat Coppin State on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015.
Jessica Thomas, shown during UM media day, scored 16 points to help the Canes beat Coppin State on Friday, Dec. 4, 2015. adiaz@miamiherald.com

The University of Miami women’s basketball team led wire-to-wire in its victory over Coppin State Friday night at the BankUnited Center, rolling to a 78-59 win.

Junior guard Jessica Thomas set the tone for the game by hitting a three-pointer just nine seconds in, giving Miami (9-0) a lead it would not relinquish. Thomas would go on to finish with a game-high 16 points, helping the Hurricanes become the first 9-0 team in the country.

“She’s just great. She’s our motor, there’s no question,” Miami head coach Katie Meier said of Thomas, a team co-captain. “She’s a great competitor and she’s very proud to wear Miami on her chest. So, in games like that where things get a little bit sloppy, she’s the first to react. She is the first to kind of address it and demand more from her teammates. Thank God we had that mentality tonight from her.”

Miami jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first two and half minutes and never looked back. The Hurricanes led Coppin State (2-5) by seven, 19-12, after one period of play, following a buzzer beater by Eagles sophomore forward Candice Beverly.

The Hurricanes stretched their lead up to as much as 14 in the second period and took a 10-point advantage, 37-27, into the locker room at halftime. Thomas had eight points and four assists in the opening 20 minutes, while sophomore forward/center Erykah Davenport added seven points, more than she logged in all but three of the first eight full games.

Miami held Coppin State to 4-of-16 shooting (25 percent) in the third period and extended its lead to 19 points, taking a 58-39 through 30 minutes of play.

Saturday: No. 21 UM men vs. Charlotte

When/where: 4 p.m.; BankUnited Center.

Records: UM 6-1; Charlotte 1-6.

TV/radio: ESPN3; WQAM 560, WVUM 90.5 FM.

Scouting report: UM played Charlotte twice in a week’s span last season and won both times — 77-58 in the championship game of the Charleston Classic and 77-74 later that week in a regular-season game.

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