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Miami holds firm to beat Villanova for 1st trip to Elite 8

by: AARON BEARD, Associated Press

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GREENVILLE, SC (AP) — Jasmyne Roberts scored a career-high 26 points — including a go-ahead stick, three-point play with 38.8 seconds left — to help Miami overcome a 21-point lead points and beat Villanova 70-65 on Friday for the program’s first trip to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

The ninth-seeded Hurricanes (22-12) held on after Villanova fell back in the game behind late All-American big scorer Maddy Siegrist.

When it was over, longtime coach Katie Meier turned and started jumping up to hug her staff, while players and cheerleaders sprinted to midfield in celebration. Meier quickly walked to the sidelines near a vocal ensemble of Hurricanes fans and gave a thumbs up amid cheers, while Roberts remained locked in a tight, emotional embrace with teammate Ja’Leah Williams.

Miami had only reached the Sweet 16 once before, in 1992. Now the Hurricanes will play for the Greenville Region 2 title Sunday against winner LSU-Utah for a trip to the Final Four.

Siegrist, the nation’s leading scorer, had 31 points and 13 rebounds for fourth-seeded Villanova (30-7).


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