BC-BKW--NCAA-Fla Gulf Coast-Miami
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Beatrice Mompremier scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and fourth-seeded Miami needed an 11-0 run in the fourth quarter to come from briefly being behind and beat 13th-seeded Florida Gulf Coast 69-62 in a first-round Portland Region game Friday night.
Endia Banks scored 14 and Mykea Gray added 10 for the Hurricanes (25-8), who wasted a 14-point second-half lead and were down by one early in the fourth before recovering.
Emese Hof had a 10-point, 12-rebound game for Miami, which plays fifth-seeded Arizona State on Sunday. The Hurricanes turned a 52-51 deficit into a 64-53 lead in the fourth, and escaped in the final moments.
Keri Jewett-Giles scored 24 for Florida Gulf Coast (28-5), whose 19-game winning streak was snapped. The Eagles cut that 11-point Miami lead to four, but Hof’s rebound and reverse-layup putback with exactly a minute left put the Hurricanes up 66-60 and the lead was never smaller than four again.
Destiny Washington added 10 for the Eagles.
FGCU was bidding to become the first No. 13 seed to beat a No. 4 in the first round since Marist toppled Georgia in 2012. It would have also matched the second-biggest upset in terms of seed differential in NCAA women’s tournament history — six No. 13s have beaten No. 4s, and the only one that tops that is No. 16 Harvard’s win over No. 1 Stanford in 1998.
Every time it looked like a blowout was coming, FGCU bounced back.
The Eagles were down 7-0 to start the game, 36-24 late in the half and 40-26 after Mompremier opened the third quarter with a score. And they were never rattled.
Starting with a 3-pointer by Tytionia Adderly — Miami kept playing way off her when in zone, daring her to shoot from deep — FGCU closed the third quarter on a 22-8 run to send the teams into the fourth knotted at 48. Washington made a 3-pointer with 1:18 left in the third to tie the game at 45, Banks beat the shot clock with one to put Miami back on top and then Adderly connected again for the 48-all tie.
Jewett-Giles made a 3-pointer early in the fourth for FGCU’s first and only lead, 51-50. Ulel scored to tie the game at 53, but the Eagles missed their next eight shots as the Hurricanes rebuilt their lead.
Florida Gulf Coast: The Eagles’ first eight shots were 3-point tries. They didn’t attempt a 2-pointer until 4:11 remained in the first quarter, and 40 of their 66 field-goal attempts were from beyond the arc. ... This was the ninth consecutive year where FGCU won at least 27 games, and the fifth NCAA trip in the last six years for the Eagles. ... FGCU had only eight turnovers and forced 18.
Miami: The win ends a two-game slide overall — and a two-game NCAA slide for the Hurricanes, who lost a second-round game to Quinnipiac in 2017 and fell to Quinnipiac again in the first round last season. ... The Hurricanes improved to 17-2 at home. ... This is the fifth 25-win season in Miami history, and the Hurricanes’ first since 2011-12.
Mompremier is listed at 6-foot-4, Hof at 6-foot-3. FGCU countered with a starting frontcourt where nobody is listed at more than 5-foot-10 — those being Washington and Adderly. The Hurricanes had six 6-footers on their roster, and the Eagles had none.
Miami football coach Manny Diaz’s day started with the third practice of the spring season early Friday morning. It ended with him sitting at midcourt for the women’s game that tipped off at 9:28 p.m. — and by night’s end, he was in the student section to help rile up a larger-than-usual crowd at the Watsco Center.
Miami plays Arizona State on Sunday in the second round.