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STANFORD, Calif. (hurricanesports.com) – The University of Miami women’s basketball team dropped its opening game of the NCAA Tournament to South Dakota State, 74-71, Saturday evening at Maples Pavilion.
No. 19/19 Miami (24-9, 10-6 ACC), seeded fifth, had its stellar 2015-16 season end against the 12th-seeded Jackrabbits despite 54 combined points from junior guard Adrienne Motley, freshman guard Laura Cornelius and freshman forward/center Emese Hof.
The Hurricanes, who had the longest travel distance of any team in the 64-team field, took a 22-18 lead through 10 minutes of action. They connected on their final six shots of the opening period, including a buzzer-beating pull-up jump shot by Cornelius.
Miami scored nine-straight points late in the second period to take its largest lead of the half at 39-34. South Dakota State (27-6, 13-3 SL) answered with a 3-pointer at the buzzer by freshman guard Madison Guebert to trim its deficit to two entering the locker room.
Guebert led all scorers with 14 points at the intermission, while Motley paced the Hurricanes with nine points—all in the first period—through the opening 20 minutes.
After their buzzer beater to close the second period, the Jackrabbits extended their run to 14-1 to open the third period, taking a 48-40 lead with four minutes and 51 seconds left in the stanza. Miami pulled to within three before South Dakota State scored five of the final six points of the frame to take a 55-48 edge into the final quarter.
South Dakota State took its largest lead of the game, 11 points, with 8:20 on the clock, but then the Hurricanes began to storm back. Miami went on a 14-6 run that included 10 points by Cornelius to pull within three, 65-62, with 4:30 to go.
Miami trimmed its deficit to three twice in the final 10 seconds, but could not close the gap any further.
Motley’s 19 points tied for the game lead, while Cornelius finished with 18 and connected on four 3-pointers. Hof posted 17 points and a co-game-high nine rebounds in the defeat. The totals for Netherlands natives Cornelius and Hof were both their second-highest of the season.
Redshirt senior guard Michelle Woods, who became the first player in program history to play in four NCAA Tournaments, tied for the game high with five assists.
Geubert led the Jackrabbits with 19 points, while sophomore guard Macy Miller added 18, despite the Hurricanes forcing her into 11 turnovers. Sophomore forward Ellie Thompson tallied 14 points for South Dakota State.
The Jackrabbits had 22 turnovers, leading to 24 Miami points, while the Hurricanes committed 10 giveaways that went towards four South Dakota State points. The Jackrabbits shot 8-of-18 (44.4 percent) from 3-point range and Miami led 41-9 in bench scoring.
To learn more about University of Miami women’s basketball, follow @CanesWBB.
MIAMI HURRICANES POSTGAME NOTES
· For the 19th time this season and the fifth-consecutive game, Miami’s starting five consisted of Erykah Davenport, Keyona Hayes, Motley, Jessica Thomas and Woods.
· This was the first-ever meeting between Miami and South Dakota State. The Hurricanes went 4-1 this season when playing a team for the first time.
· Head coach Katie Meier is now 283-188 in her 15 seasons as a head coach, including 207-143 in her 11 years at Miami. She is 3-6 in six NCAA Tournament appearances, including 3-5 in five berths at Miami.
· The Hurricanes are now 5-11 all-time in 11 NCAA Tournament trips, including 4-7 versus lower seeds, 3-3 against double-digit seeds, 3-5 on a neutral court and 5-6 in opening contests.
· This marked the second time all season Miami lost back-to-back games, joining games vs. No. 10/10 Louisville (2/25/16) and at No. 12/12 Florida State (2/28/16).
· Miami finished the 2015-16 season tied with 1980-81 and 1992-93 campaigns for the fifth-most wins in program history.
· This is the 19th time this season the Hurricanes have scored 70-plus points after reaching that total 12 times in 2014-15.
· The Hurricanes forced 20-plus turnovers for the 12th time this season.
· Three points was tied for the smallest margin of defeat for Miami this season (previous 70-67 at No. 12/12 Florida State, 2/28/16).
· Miami finished with 24 points off turnovers, its most since posting 34 at Clemson (1/10/16).
· This was just Miami’s third defeat of the season against an unranked team and its second against a team not currently in the top 20 of both national polls.
· Miller’s 11 turnovers were two more than any Hurricane opponent had in a game this season (prior high nine, Aliyah Collier, Clemson, 1/10/16).
· Woods is the first player in program history to play in four NCAA Tournaments.
· Woods finished her career tied with Maria Brown for third place on Miami’s all-time appearances list with 128 games played.
· Woods, who eclipsed 2,750 minutes played as a Hurricane, had at least five rebounds and at least five assists for the fourth time this season and the first since 1/7/16 vs. Pittsburgh.
· Motley passed Vicki Plowden for No. 11 on Miami’s all-time scoring list. She currently has 1,419 points.
· Motley scored in double figures in 28 of 33 games this season, with 17-plus in 19.
· Hof’s 17 points were her second-most during her freshman season and her top total since posting 26 vs. Indiana (12/20/15).
· Hof finished the season shooting 117-of-216 from the floor, with her 54.2 percent mark good for fourth place on the program’s all-time single-season list.
· Hayes eclipsed 550 rebounds in her career.
· Hayes, like Hof, also posted a top-10 single-season field goal percentage mark at Miami, shooting 130-of-243 from the field for a 53.4 percent clip that ranks eighth.
· Cornelius’ 18 points were the second-most of her freshman campaign and her most since scoring 20 vs. NC State (12/30/15).
· Cornelius finished the season 47-of-111 from 3-point range, with her 42.3 percent clip ranking third on Miami’s all-time single-season list.
· Keyanna Harris moved past 500 minutes played as a Hurricane and also reached 50 free throws attempted.
· Harris scored all six of her points in the first half, more than she has had in a full game since 12/6/15 (eight vs. UMass Lowell).
· Thomas surpassed both 850 points and 2,000 minutes played as a collegian.
· Davenport reached 1,000 minutes played at Miami.
· Cornelius fouled out for the first time in her career and Woods fouled out for the first time this season.