Cold shooting haunts Canes as LSU ends UM women’s dream season in Elite Eight, 54-42
Miami held LSU – the nation’s fourth-best offense – to its season-low scoring total, and Hurricanes’ sophomore Jasmyne Roberts played exceptionally well, scoring 22 points.
But it wasn’t enough.
The Miami women’s basketball team will not be joining the UM men’s team in Texas. The magic for the ninth-seeded Hurricanes ended Sunday night at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in upstate South Carolina as they lost 54-42 to No. 3 LSU.
Miami, playing in its first Elite Eight, was also seeking its first trip to the Final Four in program history. Instead, the Tigers are advancing to Dallas out of the Greenville 2 Region. LSU will face the winner of Monday’s Seattle 4 regional clash between No. 1 Virginia Tech and No. 3 Ohio State.
The Hurricanes would have been the lowest seed to advance to a Final Four since Arkansas, also a No. 9 seed, in 1998. But it just wasn’t meant to be for Miami. The Hurricanes shot a season-worst 0 of 15 from three-point range, turned the ball over 18 times and shot 31.6 percent from the floor.
It’s the first time Miami failed to make a three-pointer in a game since Jan. 9, 2012, when it shot 0 for 10 from deep in a win at Georgia Tech.
While Roberts was great – she also had seven rebounds and three assists – no other UM player scored in double digits. In her final game in a Miami uniform, fifth-year senior Destiny Harden finished with three points while shooting 0 of 9 from the floor to go along with seven rebounds, two assists and three steals.
LSU was led by its All-American, junior forward Angel Reese, who had a season-low 13 points to pair with 18 rebounds. But Reese had to work hard to accumulate those stats. She shot 3 of 15 from the floor in 39 minutes and also had four turnovers. Alexis Morris added 21 points for the Tigers, who are headed back to the national semifinals for the first time since 2008.
The contest’s beginning moments revealed UM’s strategy against Reese: every time she touched the ball in the paint, the Hurricanes would send multiple bodies at her. Reese, a 6-foot-3 All-American, started the game shooting 0 for 9 from the field, and she did not score her first field goal until 55 seconds into the third quarter.
It was a physical game from start to finish. Harden and Reese both received bloody lips at different points, Miami center Lola Pendande hurried to the bench in the third quarter after getting hit in the torso while setting a screen, and UM guard Lashae Dwyer left the game in the fourth after rolling her ankle.
The game got away from Miami in the third quarter. The Canes trailed by six points at the half, but the Tigers went on to lead by as much as 11 points after an 8-1 run. From there, the Hurricanes never got within a single possession of the LSU lead. The Tigers led by as much as 16 points in the fourth quarter.
Key for LSU was its ability to own the glass and score off its own misses. The Tigers outrebounded the Canes 49-36, and outscored them 15-3 on second-chance opportunities.
While the loss stings, the bright side for Miami is that five of its six leading scorers from this team have eligibility remaining. And, as the Canes learned last season by landing the Cavinder twins, the transfer portal provides the opportunity to land additional talented players.