March 22, 2006
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -
Virginia women's basketball captured an 83-72 win over Miami in the second round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament at University Hall on Wednesday.
The Cavaliers, who improved to 20-11 overall, will travel to Pittsburgh for third round action on Friday, March 24 at 7 p.m. at the Fitzgerald Field House. The Panthers defeated Mississippi, 85-76 to advance.
UVa achieved 20 wins for the 20th time under head coach Debbie Ryan. The Cavaliers have also won seven of their last eight contests.
Miami opened with a 5-0 run and held the lead throughout the first seven minutes of action. UVa took its first lead on a jumper by freshman Lyndra Littles (Washington, D.C.). The `Hoos closed out the stanza with a 22-8 run, leading by 15 points, 45-30 at intermission.
"I thought we did a great job of finishing in the first half," Ryan said. "I was very pleased with our execution on both ends of the court."
"I thought Virginia's first half was their best offensive performance," Miami head coach Katie Meier said. "I'm happy for Debbie and her players. The story of the 2006 postseason is the ACC is dominating."
In the second half, the Cavaliers built their lead to 20 points twice. But the Hurricanes clawed back to come back within five, 70-65 with 3:18 on the clock. UVa converted 10 free throws in the last two minutes of play to seal the win.
"I felt in the first half that we quit," Meier said. "We weren't committed to defense I'm very proud they cranked up the effort (in the second half)."
"It's difficult to beat a team that doesn't quit," Ryan continued. "(Miami's) a very feisty team."
Six Cavaliers notched double digits, paced by junior Brenna McGuire's (Winchester, Mass.) 16 points. She made four three-pointers. Sophomore Sharneé Zoll (Marlboro, N.J.) also had 16 points and 11 assists for her third double-double of the season. Junior Siedah Williams (Cleveland, Ohio) had 13 points, while senior Tiffany Sardin (Chicago, Ill.) finished with 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Sophomore Takisha Granberry (Charlotte, N.C.) and Littles rounded out the scoring with 10 points each.
"I got great open looks and kept shooting," McGuire said. "They went in tonight."
"We were hitting tonight," Ryan said. "We took good shots, and we finished."
Senior Tamara James, the ACC's leading scorer, paced Miami with 31 points and 10 rebounds. Melissa Knight added 16 points, and Renee Taylor had 15 points.
Overall, Miami out-rebounded Virginia, 40-35.
WNIT Second Round
1 2 - Final
Miami (17-13) 30 42 - 72
Virginia (20-11) 45 38 - 83