UM goes cold at VT

The University of Miami women's basketball team did just about everything they could in the first half at Cassell Colisium Tuesday night, Feb. 5, to walk away with a victory and continue their climb upward in the Big East conference. But somebody apparently forgot to tell the Hurricanes at the intermission the game was far from over.

After going to the locker room with the lead after a sizzling shooting performance in the first half, the Hurricanes went into a cold spell and could not recover as the No. 23 Virginia Tech Hokies rallied for a 72-60 victory over Miami.

The Hurricanes, who shot over 60 percent in the opening half, converted on just 10 field goals in the second half and never gained the lead after falling behind 45-40 on a lay-up by Erin Gibson with 12:32 remaining in the game. Gibson made another lay-up at the 6:58 mark of the second half to put the Hokies ahead 57-46, their biggest lead of the game.

Miami would not come any closer as they fell to 14-8 overall and 7-5 in conference competition. The Hokies, who snapped a three-game losing streak, improved to 16-5 overall and 7-3 in the Big East conference.

Guard Meghan Saake, who was 5-of-9 floor in 35 minutes, led the Hurricanes with 13 points and added three assists and seven steals. Sophomore Chanivia Broussard added 11 points and four rebounds for the Hurricanes, while forward recorded 10 points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal. Forward Shaquana Wilkins, who was recently inserted into the starting line-up, had four points, three steals and three assists, but struggled with her shooting going 1-of-5 from the floor.

But most of the damage inflicted by the Hurricanes was in the first half as they raced out to a 17-9 lead thanks to two free throws by Wilkins and kept the advantage right through the half. After seeing their lead cut to four points with over six minutes remaining in the first half on a Sarah Hicks lay-up, the Hurricanes responded with a basket from Kathryn Fowler to give themselves a little breathing room.

Despite committing 14 turnovers in the first half, Miami's defense also was responsible for their early fortunes. The Hurricanes forced 11 Hokie turnovers that led to 18 first-half points, which included six on the break.

The Hurricanes lifted their lead to 30-22 on an Alicia Hartlaub lay-up before the Hokies closed the half on an 8-4 run led by Hicks, who scored eight points in the final 2:28 of the half, including two three-pointer to narrow the Hokles' deficit.

Hicks, who lead the Hokies with 20 points, was one of four players in double-figure points joining Gibson (12 points), Nicole Jones (12 points) and Leva Kublina (10 points). Hicks, 8-of-11 from the floor, added a game-high seven rebounds and five assists for Virginia Tech. Kubrina recorded seven rebounds, three blocks and a steal.

VT guard Lisa Guarneri also did an effective job on the boards with six rebounds. Virginia Tech outrebounded Miami 31 to 27 while limiting the Hurricanes long-range accuracy. The Hurricanes went 1-of-8 from three-point territory.

Chrystal Starling contributed with eight points off the bench for Virginia Tech.

Canes Time Top Stories