Preview: No. 4 seed Miami Hurricanes stand in the way of Quinnipiac’s Sweet 16 appearance

By: Morey Hershgordon and Sierra Goodwill

Overall: 24-8, 13-7 ACC (7th)

Head Coach: Katie Meier (12th season, 231-151 record)

  • 159-67 (.704) since the 2010-11 season
  • A member of the University of Miami’s Hall of Fame Class of 2017
  • Sixth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last seven years

Notable NCAA Tournament history facts:

  • 12th appearance in the big dance
  • 6-11 all-time with one appearance in the Sweet Sixteen (1992)
  • Last year, Miami lost to No. 12 seed South Dakota State in the first round (74-71)

2016-17 season highlights:

Beating No. 9 Ohio State in overtime in Columbus

Keyona Hayes’ 3-pointer with 2:30 left in overtime gave the Hurricanes a one-point lead and they never looked back. In a game of runs, Miami had the last winning 94-89. Four players tallied double-digit points led by Hayes’ career-high of 23 points and Erykah Davenport’s first career double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds). The Buckeyes, seeded fifth in this year’s NCAA Tournament, have already punched their ticket to Sweet Sixteen after taking down No. 12 seed Western Kentucky 70-63 and No. 4 seed Kentucky 82-68.

Beating No. 8 Florida State to advance to the ACC Tournament semifinals

This was the second straight year the Hurricanes beat the Seminoles in the ACC Quarterfinals. Miami jumped out to an eight-point halftime lead and never relinquished it in the second half. As a team it shot just one-for-11 from distance, but senior duo Keyona Hayes and Adrienne Motley led the way with 12 points each. With the win over the Seminoles, the Hurricanes became one of just seven teams in the nation to have two AP Top-10 wins not at home.

Key Players:

 Adrienne Motley, senior guard

The senior has scored a total of 1,835 points for her career in Coral Gables, ranking 6th all-time. She leads her team in points per game at 13.4. Motley has been a consistent piece to the starting lineup during her time as she’s started 126 out of a possible 129 games in her career.

Jessica Thomas, senior guard

Despite her five-foot-six frame, Thomas makes her presence known on the court. She is second on team in points at 12.6 and is known for her electric speed and her court vision. As the floor general, she leads her team in assists and steals. Her three older brothers all played football at Miami and in the NFL.

Keyona Hayes, redshirt senior forward

Saturday’s hero against Florida Gulf Cost, the senior made a game-winning layup in the final seconds helping her team narrowly escape No. 13 seed Florida Gulf Coast. Her double-double in the tournament was the first by a Miami women’s basketball player since 2013. The rock on the inside, Hayes averages 9.9 points and 6.1 rebounds shooting better than 53 percent from the floor.

Extras:

  • Ranked No. 16 in the country heading into the NCAA Tournament
  • 10-1 all-time in the state of Florida in postseason play including 3-0 at home in the NCAA Tournament
  • Miami brings back 10 players from last year’s 24-win team. Eight returners average 10-plus minutes per game.
  • Motley, Thomas and Hayes are all 1,000-point scorers

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