The No. 6 North Carolina women’s basketball team came into Carmichael Arena trying to move on from a 78-73 upset by Syracuse last Thursday, with a win against unranked Miami.
But Miami freshman guard Adrienne Motley had no intentions of rolling over for the Tar Heels (17-5, 5-3 ACC), and led her team to an 83-80 upset by scoring a game-high 27 points.
Associate head coach Andrew Calder praised Miami’s movement on offense but was disappointed with the defensive game that the Tar Heels had.
“Our defense was not good,” he said. “Give some credit to Miami. (They) tried to get us in some disadvantages, and they did. Took advantage of it with some switching.
“We just got to do a better job defensively. This all starts with defense.”
Miami shot an explosive 66.7 percent within the first nine minutes of the game. The Hurricanes were also making the Tar Heels pay from deep, sinking three of their five 3-point shots in that same time period.
“We had our minds set that we were going to come and we were going to win the game,” Motley said. “So it was never in the back of my head that we were going to lose at all.”
North Carolina did step up its defensive intensity late in the first half to claw back into the game, and with a 25-5 run that stretched into the second half, it seemed like the Tar Heels were going to stave off the Hurricanes.
Sophomore forward Xylina McDaniel played a big role in that run and sparked the Tar Heels’ offense at the beginning of the second half, scoring the team’s first seven points in the period. McDaniel’s ended the first half with just three points, but wound up finishing with 18 total because of a re-energized second half.