Jan. 8, 2015
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) The last thing Miami coach Katie Meier said in the pregame address to her players was that she would not be surprised when they beat Notre Dame.
And she wasn’t.
Adrienne Motley scored a career-high 32 points, Jassany Williams blocked a school-record nine shots and the Hurricanes snapped No. 4 Notre Dame’s record-tying 30-game road winning streak by running out to a big lead and then pulling away again late to upset the Fighting Irish 78-63 on Thursday night.
”We knew that we would have an opportunity, and then we would have some adversity, and then we would have to come back,” Meier said. ”So we scripted the game in their minds.”
That the Hurricanes (12-3, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) did, right down to the perfect ending.
Miami led 40-20 at the half, saw the lead whittled to six and then closed the game on a 23-14 spurt. Motley made 13 of 19 shots, Suriya McGuire added 11 points and Williams added six points and eight rebounds to her nine-block night. Plus, Miami’s bench outscored Notre Dame’s 21-7.
”It just so happened I had 32,” Motley said. ”But it was everybody tonight.”
Jewell Loyd scored 27 points for Notre Dame (14-2, 2-1), which got 17 points and 10 rebounds from Brianna Turner. Notre Dame’s last road loss was March 6, 2012, at Connecticut, which set the Division I women’s record with 30 straight road wins from 2008-10.
Notre Dame was 21-0 in ACC regular-season and tournament games since joining the league, not including an NCAA tournament win over Maryland, plus lost to an unranked opponent for the first time in 62 games going back to Feb. 12, 2012, against West Virginia.
”You never like to lose, but we’re just so darn young sometimes that we needed maybe a kick in the pants to kind of say we need to come out ready,” said Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw. ”I don’t know mentally what they were thinking before the game but we were uncharacteristically bad in the first half. Credit their defense, that really set us back on our heels.”
The Hurricanes went on a 20-4 run to end the half, with Motley and Necole Sterling combining for 16 of those points. Notre Dame shot just 24 percent in the first 20 minutes, its six field goals matching the total Motley had herself by intermission.
Notre Dame, which came in averaging nearly 86 points per game, roared back.
Turner was almost unguardable down low after halftime, and her three-point play with 8:28 left got the Fighting Irish within 55-49. But every time the Hurricanes looked to be on the ropes, they would counter.
Laura Quevedo hit a 3-pointer and punched the air in celebration to push the lead back to nine, and her three-point play about 4 minutes later extended Miami’s edge to 69-55.
Notre Dame: Turner played for Meier on the team that won the gold medal for the U.S. at the U-19 women’s world championships in 2013, and Michaela Mabrey played for Meier on the U-18 team. … The Irish started four guards, in part because F Taya Reimer – who had started all 15 of Notre Dame’s games prior to Thursday – was not with the team for personal reasons.
Miami: The Hurricanes became the second team to lead Notre Dame by at least 20 points this season, with Connecticut being the other. … Miami wears an ”ES” patch on its jerseys to pay tribute to Edna Shalala, who died late last year. Edna Shalala is the mother of University of Miami president Donna Shalala.
The temperature when Notre Dame’s bus arrived at the Bank United Center was 68 degrees – a mere 57 degrees warmer than it was back on their campus at South Bend, Indiana, at the same time.
PAST VS. FUTURE
Notre Dame was recently an Adidas school, before it switched to Under Armour. Thursday’s game was played hours after Miami announced that it will no longer be a Nike school and will be playing in Adidas apparel for 12 years starting in September.
Notre Dame: Host Boston College on Sunday.