Miami basketball women pull second straight upset advancing to ACC title game

Mar 5, 2022; Greensboro, NC, USA; Mandatory Credit: William Howard-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 5, 2022; Greensboro, NC, USA; Mandatory Credit: William Howard-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami basketball team earned their second straight upset on Saturday defeating third seed and 20th ranked Notre Dame 57-54 to advance to the championship game of the ACC Women’s Tournament. Miami defeated Notre Dame a day after shocking second seed Louisville who was ranked fourth nationally 75-72.

Miami came out hot scoring the first nine points of the game against Notre Dame. The Hurricanes ended the game against Louisville scoring the last 17 points. Scoring 26 consecutive points against two ranked teams is possibly unprecedented. Miami has won four in a row and eight of its last nine games.

Senior Kelsey Marshall led Miami with 18 points and added five rebounds and three assists. Karla Erjavec with 10 was the other Miami basketball player to score in double figures. Notre Dame did not score its first points until 3:05 remained in the first quarter on a jumper by Maddy Westbeld. Miami ended the first quarter up 12-4.

The Notre Dame offense received in the second quarter outscoring Miami 22-14 as the teams went into halftime tied at 26. Miami pulled away halfway through the third quarter to take a 45-36 lead. The Hurricanes led 46-40 at the end of three quarters. Notre Dame eventually took the lead on a Westbeld three-pointer.

Erjavec answered with a layup with 2:35 remaining, 20 seconds after the Westbeld shot. The Erjavec shot put Miami ahead to stay. Miami stretched the lead to five on a Marshall free throw with 1:25 remaining. After a Notre Dame three-point, Mykea Gray split a pair of free throws to push the lead to three with 24 seconds remaining.

Dara Mabrey who made the late three-point shot for Notre Dame missed a potential game-tying triple and Miami earned its second straight upset. The Hurricanes will play in the ACC Women’s Basketball Championship Game for the first time. Miami will play number one ranked North Carolina State.

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The Wolfpack earned a 70-55 victory over fifth seed Virginia Tech in the semifinals. North Carolina State outscored Virginia Tech 39-28 in the second half. The Wolfpack won 76-64 in Coral Gables in January. Miami and North Carolina State will tip off at Noon ET on ESPN. The Hurricanes have likely secured an NCAA Tournament berth.