When the final buzzer sounded on No. 9 Miami’s win over No. 1 Indiana, in all the frenetic, inchoate joy of a team celebrating a tremendous upset, Destiny Harden found her coach, Katie Meier.
She blurted out the first sentence that came to mind:
“Well, yeah,” Meier said. “But I can be mad at you tomorrow.”
It was true: Harden missed two free throws with 20 seconds to play while Miami was clinging to a one-point lead. But her coaches trusted her to redeem herself (and then some). Soon, the game was tied, Miami ball, and the Hurricanes called a timeout to draw up their final play. There were six seconds on the clock. Harden didn’t know what her coaches were going to call: She is Miami’s second-leading scorer, behind star transfer Haley Cavinder, but forward Lola Pedande led the team in points Monday, and not far behind was speedy guard Jasmyne Roberts. “Everybody could have gotten that game-winning shot,” Harden said. But the coaching staff knew who they wanted to go to the basket here.
They wanted Harden, a graduate student guard and veteran leader, the same player they trusted to take the winning shot in last year’s ACC tournament comeback win over Louisville. They knew Harden remembered every second of that play from a year ago—a “competitive memory,” Meier called it. Drive to the basket. Step through. Jumper. Now, they wanted her to repeat it.
Or as associate head coach Fitzroy Anthony put it to Harden:
“Face up and win the f—ing game.”
“We went to a very, very goo