Mykea Gray scored 12 points and four assists, Kelsey Marshall added 11 points and three triples as the Hurricanes battled through committing 28 turnovers on their way to a 55-43 win at home against Bethune Cookman on Friday.
The Hurricanes went on an 8-0 run in the first minute and thirty seconds of the third quarter to stretch their lead to 20 points. However, the Wildcats responded, putting together a 16-0 run of their own amidst a five-minute scoring drought for the Hurricanes.
“I thought in the second half we just gave up the basket like crazy,” Katie Meier said. “We should be playing a lot harder on the defensive end. We have to find some go-to players and go to sets because we are struggling right now.”
Despite Meier’s disappointment with her team’s defensive effort, Miami (2-0) held the Wildcats (1-1) to just 43 points and 24% (13-of-55) from the field.
The Hurricanes were able to halt the run after a basket down low from Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi, who finished with four points. Clinging onto a slim lead, Gray spurred UM in the final frame with six points in the first two minutes of the quarter and the ‘Canes pulled away comfortably down the stretch.
Gray, who missed all of last year due to a torn ACL, led UM in scoring with 12 points. Gray and Marshall were the only Hurricanes to score in double digits.
“I always try to look for my teammates and get them involved so the basket can open up,” Gray said. “The second half was close and I had to realize it was my time to step up.”
Senior Karla Erjavec started hot with five points in the first quarter. The Canes got off to a fast start while the Wildcats scored just three points in the first 10 minutes, and did not register a field goal until just over nine minutes into the contest.
Bethune Cookman mounted its 16-0 run on the back of forward Tania White, who had seven points and two steals. The visitors were led by Taylor Williams and Tatum Hayes, who each had 10 points.
The Hurricanes allowed the Wildcats back into the game and struggled to pull away due to their 28 turnovers, 17 of which came in the first two quarters. Miami is now averaging 23.5 turnovers a game through their first two wins, after averaging just under 14 last year.
“We just want to take this as a lesson,” Meier said. “Take care of the ball, that will probably be the first thing we do in practice. These are lessons that we will take with us, focusing on that so therefore it won’t happen again.”
Despite the double digit win, Meier was clearly upset following the win. She threatened to shorten the rotation moving forward after every Hurricane who was active got into the game.
“Everyone played but everyone had a turnover,” Meier said. “Until we clean this up we have to shorten our rotation. They don’t have to do anything special, just take care of the basketball.”
Miami next plays Stetson at the Watsco Center on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 2 p.m.