Smith, Thomas Earn All-Tournament Honors, Hoosiers Fall to Miami, 79-70
Nov. 25, 2006
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Junior Nikki Smith and sophomore Whitney Thomas earned all-tournament honors for their performances in the Miami Thanksgiving Tournament, however, the Indiana women's basketball fell to the host Hurricanes in the championship game, 79-70.
Thomas recorded her second double-double of the season with 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Freshman Jamie Braun scored 13, while Nikki Smith added 12 points and senior Carrie Smith scored 10 points in the effort.
The Hurricanes (6-1) opened the first half with an 11-4 lead, which was sparked by a three-pointer by Charmaine Clark in the opening minutes of the game. The Hoosiers (5-1) cut Miami's lead to five, 11-6, on a jumper by Thomas at the 15:19 mark, but the Hurricanes went on to outscore Indiana, 25-11, to take a 36-19 lead into the half.
Down, 51-35, with 11:55 to go in the game, the Hoosiers put together a 13-3 run to come within seven, 54-47, with 8:30 on the clock. The Hurricanes built back up a 16-point lead, 67-51, with 4:18 left in the game, but another IU 7-0 run sparked by a Thomas free throw, cut the lead back to seven, 67-60, with 3:21 to go. Miami answered the Hoosier run with a three-pointer by Latoya Cunningham increasing its lead to 70-60 with 2:06 to go. However, Braun answered with a three-pointer of her own which cut the lead back to seven, 70-63, with 1:52 on the clock. The Hurricanes were able to hold on as they outscored Indiana, 9-7, in the closing minutes for the 79-70 win.
Miami shot 44.8 percent (26-of-58) from the field, while Indiana shot 40.0 percent (26-of-65). The Hoosiers won the battle of the boards, 50-34, but committed 26 turnovers to the Hurricane's 17.
Thomas hit 3-of-7 from the floor and 7-of-13 from the free throw for her 13 points. She also added 10 rebounds (seven defensive) and two steals. Braun shot 4-of-9 from the field, 3-of-6 from beyond the arc and 2-of-2 from the line, while adding eight rebounds. Nikki Smith sank 5-of-10 from the floor, 2-of-6 from the three-point line and added two assists and two steals. Carrie Smith hit 5-of-9 from the field and recorded seven rebounds, one steal and one blocked shot.
Miami's Renee Taylor led all players with 28 points, earning Tournament Most Valuable Player honors. Maurita Reid added 18 points in the win for the Hurricanes.
The Hoosiers will be back in action on Thursday, Nov. 30, when they host the Evansville Aces at 7 p.m. on Branch McCracken Court in Assembly Hall. Catch the game live on WHCC-FM 105.1 as Mike Hensinger and Steve Vilardo call the action from Bloomington.
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