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Hurricanes Open Season Against Norfolk State

Nov. 13, 2008

CORAL GABLES – The University of Miami women’s basketball team opens the 2008-09 season and the home schedule with a noon match-up against the Norfolk State Spartans, Friday, Nov. 14 at the BankUnited Center.

Norfolk State (0-0, 0-0 MEAC) at Miami (0-0, 0-0 ACC)Friday, Nov. 14, 2008 / BankUnited Center / Coral Gables, Fla. / 12 p.m.TV: None Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM Web/Live Stats: www.hurricanesports.com Internet Video: ACC SelectInternet Audio: www.wvum.org

Miami opens the 2008-09 season against a first-time opponent in Norfolk State. The Hurricanes went 2-0 in their exhibition season with wins over the Mike White All-Stars (62-52) and Barry University (52-49). Freshman Shenise Johnson led UM in scoring and rebounding in those two games, averaging 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Three-year captain LaToya Cunningham is the team’s leading scorer from last year’s squad and she will look to lead the `Canes to a fast start in the non-conference schedule. Junior Diane Barnes had an impressive exhibition season averaging 10 points and nine rebounds, she will look to continue that success into the regular season.

A Look at Norfolk StateThe Spartans are led by second-year head coach Tara A. Owens. Six letter-winners from last season return, including seniors Ebony Gibbs and Tashawna Higgins and sophomores Raychele Payne and Danelle Tate. Payne was named to the 2008 MEAC All-Rookie Team after a very successful freshman campaign.

Youth DayThe Third Annual Miami Hurricanes Youth Day program invites 1,600 kids from South Florida elementary and middle schools to attend a University of Miami women’s basketball game. At the University’s expense, the kids receive a free ticket and lunch. The University also picks up the cost of bus transportation to and from the event. Some schools use this day as a field trip, usually to reward kids for doing well in the classroom.