The University of Miami women’s basketball team took down the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 69-60, on Thursday night at the McCamish Pavilion, marking its fourth consecutive win.
“Georgia Tech is a fantastic defensive team. In the second quarter, I thought we looked like an Elite Eight team. We looked as good as we have all year,” head coach Katie Meier said. “We came out of halftime expecting them to be hot again and they were. Georgia Tech is going to start getting some wins so this is a great win for us.”
The key to the victory was Miami’s passing, as the Hurricanes (11-6, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)) recorded 18 assists. This was the 10th time UM notched 15 or more assists in a game this season. The Hurricanes are now 8-2 in such games.
The game did not start how the ‘Canes would have wanted, with them missing their first four field goals. They quickly rebounded and made seven of their last 10 shots to close out the first quarter, leading 16-13.
Graduate student Destiny Harden, in her first game back after missing two contests with an injury, stepped up in the second quarter, scoring nine points, with six of them coming off 3-pointers.
The Hurricanes were well-balanced offensively, with nine players scoring in the period. Additionally, their 57.1% shooting mark from the field in the quarter led to a 40-23 Miami advantage at the end of the first half.
During the first half, Miami forced nine Georgia Tech turnovers and scored 17 points off of them.
Both squads shot over 45% from the field in the third quarter. Georgia Tech (9-8, 0-6 ACC) ended the frame on an 8-3 scoring run to cut Miami’s lead to 15 entering the fourth.
The final quarter saw Georgia Tech continue its comeback as the Yellow Jackets went on a 10-2 scoring run at the start of the quarter to cut the deficit to just seven.
Even though Georgia Tech outscored Miami 20-14 in the fourth quarter, Miami held on to win the tough in-conference battle. Veteran guard Haley Cavinder hit seven crucial free throws down the stretch to help the Hurricanes earn the 69-60 win.
Destiny Harden picked up where she left off before her injury and recorded 13 points, her 11th double-digit scoring output of the season.
“Destiny showed toughness and came through for her team,” Meier said. “Her first half was incredible, so I was really proud of her. She hit some Destiny shots, shots that we dial up for her. The team was finding her and was excited to have her back.”
Seniors Haley and Hanna Cavinder followed Harden in scoring with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Freshman Lazaria Spearman tallied eight points on an efficient 4-of-5 shooting clip from the field in her hometown of Atlanta.
Miami will return home to the Watsco Center to host the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Sunday at 2 p.m. The game will air on TV on ACC Network Extra.