CORAL GABLES, Fla. – It’s official – Katie Meier is the all-time winningest coach in Miami basketball history.
The University of Miami women’s basketball team (1-0) defeated the Jackson State Tigers (0-1), 72-67, Tuesday afternoon at the Watsco Center to give Meier her 304th win as the head coach of the Hurricanes.
“I looked up right before the game and saw Coach Ferne Labati in the stands and I got a little bit emotional that she made that amazing gesture to come,” Meier said. “I’ve said it before, but to be the most of anything in school history as a coach, then you have the most support and I’ve had that here at Miami.”
Meier passed Miami legend and UM Hall of Famer Labati (303) to become the all-time winningest coach. Since Meier took over the Canes ahead of the 2005 season, Miami has made 11 postseason appearances, totaled nine 20-win seasons and earned eight NCAA Tournament bids.
Three Canes scored in double-figures on Tuesday, led by graduate student Kelsey Marshall who scored 19 points and knocked down five threes. In their Canes’ debut, graduate student Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi and junior Lola Pendande each tallied 12 points, while senior Naomi Mbandu paced Miami in rebounding with eight.
As a team, Miami poured in 11 threes and hauled in 51 rebounds, the most boards for the Canes since the 2020-21 season opener against Jacksonville on Nov. 25 (51).
“Jackson State has been together for quite a while so they were smoother and more coordinated, while we were a little disjointed at the end,” Meier said. “But I like our talent and I really think we are going to have some special games this season.”
The fifth-year seniors set the tone early for the Canes as senior Mykea Gray and Marshall drained back-to-back threes in the first two minutes of the game. Eight different Canes tallied a point in the first quarter and the team shot 57.3 percent from beyond the arc.
The quarter was highlighted by a four-point play from freshman Lashae Dwyer with 14 seconds remaining to give the Canes a 27-15 lead at the end of one.
The Tigers battled back in the second quarter, outscoring the Canes 17-14, but a five-point quarter from Marshall kept Miami ahead by nine heading into halftime. Marshall paced the Canes in scoring in the first half, tallying 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
The Miami transfer duo of Djaldi-Tabdi and Pendande came to play in the third quarter, accounting for 14 of the Canes’ 15 points in the frame. The Tigers finished the quarter on a 6-3 run to cut Miami’s lead to seven with 10 minutes to go.
In the final quarter, Marshall showed what Miami gamers are made of, recording eight points and three rebounds to lift the Canes over Jackson State, 72-67.
“I think we had a real opportunity to make special plays and I think Kelsey Marshall was very good,” Meier said. “She had six defensive rebounds and that is something that was very necessary for us to win the game. She was a real leader on the court.”
Marshall and the rest of the Canes are back in action on Friday when they take on Bethune-Cookman at 7 p.m. at the Watsco Center.
Miami Hurricanes Athletics – Megan Barnes contributed to this column