GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – The Hurricanes lived up to their billing as the second round of the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Tournament got underway Thursday morning.
Playing before an enthusiastic crowd that included several thousand elementary students from nearby school districts, Miami shot a season-best 60 percent from the floor and stormed past Pitt by a 77-55 score at the Greensboro Coliseum.
The fifth-seeded Hurricanes (23-7) moved on to the quarterfinals and will face fourth-seeded rival Florida State (23-6) in Friday’s 11 a.m. game. The Seminoles swept the regular-season series between the teams, winning 69-58 at Miami on Jan. 24 and capturing a tight 70-67 decision last Sunday in Tallahassee.
Pitt, seeded 12th in the tournament field, ended its season at 13-18.
All-ACC first-teamer Adrienne Motley led the Hurricanes with 19 points, while Keyona Hayes went 9-for-9 from the floor en route to 18 points. Hayes also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds to key the Hurricanes to a 33-23 edge on the boards.
Michelle Woods and Emese Hof each added 11 points for Miami. Yacine Diop and Brenna Wise scored 17 points apiece to lead the Panthers, with Diop going 8-for-12 from the floor.
The Hurricanes used an 18-2 second-quarter run to seize control and went in at the halftime break leading 38-21.
Motley’s nine points led a balanced first-half effort that saw five Hurricanes score at least five points. Miami shot a blistering 63 percent from the floor (17-of-27) in the first 20 minutes while limiting the Panthers to 31 percent and forcing 11 turnovers.
The Hurricanes maintained a 57-40 lead through three quarters of play. The Panthers clawed their way back to within 11 with less than six minutes remaining, but Laura Cornelius answered with a 3-pointer and Miami rolled on to win by the final 22-point margin.