UM women stay unbeaten at 7-0 with blowout win over NJIT as transfers play key roles

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The University of Miami women’s basketball team kept its unbeaten streak alive, cruising to an 87-43 home win against New Jersey Institute of Technology on Sunday afternoon.

Miami led from start to finish and had big days from its three most recent additions. Columbia transfer Jaida Patrick scored 12 points and had five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Arizona transfer Lemyah Hilton added 11 points, and Duke transfer Shayeann Day-Wilson, starting in place of Ja’Leah Williams, finished with 10 points, eight assists and just one turnover.

“Right before the game, I told Jaida, `I need you to be my Swiss army knife, I need you to play every position today,’ and she did,” UM coach Katie Meier said. “And then Shay just had eyes in the back of her head. It was gorgeous to watch. She had me saying, `Oh, shoot,’ a lot. I didn’t see what she saw.

“I can learn from my point guards. I get better as a coach and I’m really grateful they came here.”

Miami Hurricanes Jaida Patrick (5) dribbles around NJIT’s Madilyn Dogs (15) during the first quarter of a game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables.
Miami Hurricanes Jaida Patrick (5) dribbles around NJIT’s Madilyn Dogs (15) during the first quarter of a game on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables.

Jasmyne Roberts finished with 12 points and seven rebounds. Lashae Dwyer had 10 and Latasha Lattimore added 10 points with four rebounds in 16 minutes.

The Hurricanes (7-0) are one of two undefeated teams in the ACC, along with fifth-ranked N.C. State, which also won its first seven games.

Miami was coming off a signature road win against No. 21 Mississippi State, the Hurricanes’ first road victory against a ranked SEC team in school history. With the two most recent wins, UM is in position to break into the AP Top 25.

Five ACC teams with losses are already ranked. Virginia Tech (5-1) is No. 9, FSU (5-1) is No. 15, Notre Dame (5-1) is No. 18, Louisville (6-1) is No. 22 and North Carolina (5-2) is No. 24. Miami received just one vote in last week’s poll.

Asked if they feel they are underappreciated, Patrick said: “I’d rather be underappreciated right now. We’re still working, still putting our pieces together. It’s becoming a scarier sight, and as long as we keep working together it’s going to be exciting to watch.”

Patrick and Day-Wilson said they didn’t want to overstep bounds when they joined the team as transfers, but now feel comfortable to be more vocal with the coaching staff and their teammates.

“Things are new for you, and you don’t know where you should be inserted, but over time that’s going to come,” Day-Wilson said.

Watching Sunday’s game from the bench was the team captain Williams, who had started at point guard the first six games but was left off the game roster by Meier. Williams struggled against Mississippi State, going 1-for-6 for two points with two assists.

“She’s going to be fine, she’s our captain, she’ll be ready to roll when we play DePaul (Friday),” Meier said. “I just needed to check her a little bit, and she got checked. Didn’t take much.”