Long shots: Quinnipiac beats Miami 85-78 for Sweet 16 berth
By TIM REYNOLDS, AP Basketball Writer
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Morgan Manz scored 22 points and made six 3-pointers, Aryn McClure added 15 and 12th-seeded Quinnipiac is headed to the Sweet 16, stunning fourth-seeded Miami 85-78 in a second-round NCAA Tournament game Monday night.
Sarah Shewan and Paula Strautmane each scored 11 for Quinnipiac (29-6), which will head to Stockton, California and play top-seeded South Carolina on Saturday. The Bobcats of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference made 15 of 26 from 3-point range, and won their 12th straight game.
Jessica Thomas scored 25 points and Keyona Hayes added 21 for Miami (24-9), which was looking for its first trip to the round of 16 since 1992. The Hurricanes were outscored 45-15 from 3-point range.
Every time Miami made a run, Quinnipiac would answer.
What was as much as a 13-point lead was cut to one late, before Martucci's 3-pointer with 57.5 seconds left put Quinnipiac up 78-74. Manz knocked the ball away from Miami's Jessica Thomas on a drive on the ensuing Hurricanes' possession, and the Bobcats — probably best known in Division I as a hockey school — would soon be celebrating the biggest win in the history of their program.
The last time Quinnipiac played Miami was seven seasons ago, a 93-48 home romp for the Hurricanes.
This was nothing like that.
The Bobcats made six 3-pointers in the first quarter and set the tone early, opening what was a 43-30 lead late in the half before Miami scored the final six points to get within 43-36 at the break. Quinnipiac, like its style all season, was doing it with balance — by halftime, five Bobcats had at least six points. Miami, meanwhile, got 27 of its first 36 from Thomas and Harris while everyone else sputtered.
By the midpoint of the third, Quinnipiac had two of its best players on the bench in major foul trouble.
Fay had two fouls at halftime, then picked up two more — both on the same Miami possession — in the first 2 minutes of the third quarter. Martucci had one foul at the break, then got three in the first 5 1/2 minutes of the third.
But the Bobcats found a way to keep the lead. Even after a 6-0 spurt by Miami cut the margin to two, Manz made a 3-pointer to stop that Hurricane run and Carly Fabbri's runner late in the quarter sent Quinnipiac into the fourth with a 60-55 lead.
Quinnipiac: Manz hadn't made more than three 3-pointers in a game this season, and had six in the biggest game in school history. ... The Bobcats are the fourth No. 12 seed to make the Sweet 16 in the women's tourney. Those who did: San Francisco (1996), Kansas (2013) and BYU (2014). Fellow MAAC member Marist (2007) is one of three schools to get there as a No. 13 seed.
Miami: The Hurricanes were ousted by a No. 12 seed for the second consecutive season. South Dakota State beat Miami in a 5-12 game in last year's first round. ... Miami's bench was outscored 41-8 by Quinnipiac's reserves.
While building its 13-point first-half lead, Quinnipiac had a possession that included five rebounds, four field-goal attempts, two foul shots, three points and one assist — all that coming in 47 seconds.
In the first 18 minutes, the teams combined to shoot 70 percent (14 for 20) from 3-point range, and just 23 percent (8 for 35) from 2-point range.
Quinnipiac meets top-seeded South Carolina in the Sweet 16 on Saturday in Stockton, California.Associated Press