The phrase “More guards than Shawshank” from famed CBS college basketball insider Jon Rothstein does not just apply to the Miami Men’s team.
The North Carolina State Wolfpack women’s basketball program lost only a single game this season before facing the Miami Hurricanes. That loss was against a top-15 team in Virginia Tech that was decided by a single point with a buzzer-beater shot.
Miami beat them by 14 points at the Watsco Center Thursday, 73-59.
Since starting ACC play, Miami has had a tough go. Having lost four of their last five games en route to a 1-4 conference record, the Hurricanes. As the heavy underdogs, Miami was not expected to win this game against the 15-1 Wolfpack.
With their backs against the wall, the ‘Canes came out fighting.
Miami’s trio of starting guards Jasmyne Roberts, Shayeann Day-Wilson, and Lashae Dwyer scored 18 points each. Roberts led the way for the ‘Canes in the first quarter as they held an 11-point lead at its conclusion. The ‘Canes stretched that lead to as much as 13 midway through the second quarter.
“This was a really important and big win for us, especially after the first couple of losses that we had,” said Roberts. “We couldn’t really hold our heads too long over the losses, we just had to lock in and practice. We committed to each other and committed to plating great tonight.”
Miami communicated exceptionally well on the offense. A ton of talk and motion confused the Wolfpack defense and allowed the ‘Canes to get open looks. The Hurricanes knocked down their open looks to the tune of almost 60% shooting from the field.
Lazaria Spearman stepped into the game and provided a tremendous boost off the bench. The Sophomore forward was great for Miami on the glass as their leading rebounder with eight. Spearman scored 10 points and finished two rebounds shy of a double-double.
“She changed,” said coach Meier. “She’s changed her habits, her attitude, shoulders back head up. She’s been a lot more coachable the past couple of weeks. She’s coming. That was huge for us.”
The Wolfpack’s leading scorer coming into the game, Aziaha James, shot just 1-9 in the first half with only two points to show for her efforts. James would end the game with an abysmal shooting night, going just 2-16 and finishing with six points.
Madison Hayes was the leading rebounder for the Wolfpack with eight, while Mimi Collins led the team in scoring with 18. N.C. State struggled to get things going on offense. The stifling Canes defense held N.C. State to one of the worst shooting performances all year. The Wolfpack shot a dreadful 28% from the field. This was N.C. State’s lowest point total all year.
Near the start of the fourth, N.C State entered into a full-court press, and Miami got sloppy as they turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions. The ‘Canes did not panic and got back to playing their game. Then Miami took control. Miami was able to break the Wolfpack press and pull away as the game ticked down to the final seconds.
This considerable upset gives the ‘Canes energy heading into the next week and is an uplifting sign as ACC play continues. This marks Miami’s biggest regular season win since a late-season win over No. 4 Louisville during the 2021-22 season.
“I feel like this gives us a lot of confidence,” said Dwyer. “Coming off of 1-4, this was a great win because we were all hungry. Coming into practice we were locked in, we knew we had to change. We wanted to be that great team, so we knew we had to change.”
The ‘Canes will be back in action next Thursday as they take on 23rd-ranked North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Tip-off for this ACC clash is at 8:00 P.M. and is available on the ACC Network.
All stats and data provided by ESPN and StatBroadcast unless otherwise noted.