The Canes Womens Hoops team continued their stellar season with a 69-62 victory over 13-seed Florida Gulf Coast in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Coach Katie Meier and the 4-seed Miami women held off a second-half charge by the Lady Eagles to move on to a second round matchup with the 6th seed Arizona State in the Watsco Center on Sunday.
Both teams got off to a slow start, but the Canes built a double-digit lead after a 13-4 run just before halftime, going into the break up 38-26. FGCU rallied in the third quarter behind solid defense and timely 3-point shooting, outscoring Miami 22-10 in the frame to end the quarter tied at 48-48. The last frame was all Miami, however, as the frontcourt tandem of Beatrice Mompremier and Emese Hof took over the game, allowing the Canes to pull away for the 7-point victory. They carried their All-ACC First Team form into this contest, with both players posting double-doubles. Mompremier led the team with 21 points and hauled in 10 rebounds, while Hof pitched in 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Also in double figures were guards Endia Banks (14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists) and Mykea Gray (10 points). Rounding out the starters was a solid performance from Laura Cornelius, who finished with 9 points, 5 rebounds and a game high 5 assists.
Florida Gulf Coast pushed the Canes for the majority of the game, thanks to a game-high 24 points from Keri Jewett-Giles. Guard Destiny Washington was the only other Eagle in double-figures with 10 points.
Miami returns to their home court Sunday for their second round matchup against Arizona State, who knocked off UCF 60-45. The winner of that game will travel to Portland to face the winner of 1 seed Mississippi State and 9 seed Clemson in the Sweet 16.
Stay tuned to State of the U for more coverage as the Miami Women continue their run in the NCAA Tournament.