Down 17 points at halftime, Miami stormed all the way back to secure a one-point victory, 62-61, over Oklahoma State during the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on the campus of Indiana University.
Miami outscored Oklahoma State 42-24 in the second half. This included a run of 11-0 in favor of the ‘Canes in the third quarter.
UM was led by transfer Haley Cavinder, who had 16 points to go along with another team-high in rebounds with eight.
Cavinder’s layup with 2:55 left in the fourth quarter gave the Hurricanes a one-point lead. Miami held the advantage for the remainder of the game.
“It was so fun. I think that’s why you play the game,” Cavinder said. “Coming here, that was the goal, to get to March Madness and be able to advance. Just taking in this moment, being present…to have our team just come back, stay together, and get the dub, it was perfect.”
Cavdiner was one of four ‘Canes to score in double figures. Jasyme Roberts, Destiny Harden and Lola Pendande scored 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively. All these players helped Miami secure the fifth-largest comeback in Women’s NCAA Tournament history.
“In the locker room, we talked a lot about sticking together as a team and not going down without a fight,” Roberts said. “We came out in the second half a lot more calm-minded and we came out with a lot more aggression and played a lot more like a team. We pressured the ball, we pushed the ball and we did what we’re great at.”
Sophomore Anna Gret Asi led the Cowgirls off the bench with 16 points and junior Taylen Collins led them in rebounds with 16 as well.
Oklahoma State was able to keep it close at the end after Miami stormed back, but UM was able to make its free throws and be responsible enough with the ball to secure the victory.
Miami advances to the Round of 32 for the second year in a row as it will take on first-seeded Indiana on Monday at 8 p.m. at the Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind.