For the second straight season, the University of Miami women’s basketball team knocked off a Florida State team ranked in the top 10 in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament.
Seventh-seeded and No. 16/16-ranked Miami (23-7, 10-6 ACC) led wire-to-wire against second-seeded and No. 8/12-ranked Florida State (25-6, 13-3 ACC), en route to a thrilling 56-54 victory at the HTC Center.
“Both times we played them, we were really aggressive to start. We let them know we were here,” Miami head coach Katie Meier said of the back-to-back postseason wins over the Seminoles. “We don’t lose that many games during the season and we sure don’t like that they represent 30 percent of our losses. That does get to us. We are not going to lose to a team three times in the same year, especially not Florida State. That’s the mentality and we sort of said that out loud.”
The Hurricanes, who forced four turnovers in the first two minutes and 20 seconds, raced out to an 8-0 lead, including making three shots before Florida State (25-5, 13-3 ACC) even attempted one. Miami would go on to take an 18-13 lead at the end of a first period that was capped with a buzzer-beating jump shot by senior guard Adrienne Motley.
Miami used a 13-4 run, including a personal 7-2 stretch by redshirt senior forward Keyona Hayes, to build an 11-point lead, 33-22, with 1:49 left on the second-period clock. The Seminoles scored the final three points of the half and the Hurricanes led, 33-25, entering the locker room.
The Hurricanes shot 48.3 percent (14-of-29) in the opening 20 minutes and outscored Florida State by a 22-14 margin in the paint.
With 1:53 left in the game, guard Leticia Romero connected on a 3-pointer to pull the Seminoles within two for the first time since it was 2-0, but Miami did not allow another point. Senior guard Ivey Slaughter missed a pair of free throws with 4.9 seconds left and senior guard Jessica Thomas pulled down the last of her season- and team-high seven rebounds to clinch the game.
“We stayed on the gas pedal until the end there. I have to give credit to Florida State,” Meier said. “They made a lot of adjustments and then their kids made a couple really big shots . . . but I think we deserved to win it, so it went our way.”