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Voice of the `Canes Debuts Weekly Women's Basketball Blog

Andrew Green, the Sports Director of the student run WVUM radio station on 90.5 FM will be giving weekly updates of the Hurricane Women’s Basketball Team.  If you would like to respond to his posts, please email your comments to szavitz@miami.edu.

Voice_of_the_’Canes
Feb. 9, 2009

                Miami goes 1-1 this week, winning a late out of conference game in Edwardsville, Illinois and falling to #15 ranked Florida State. I had the opportunity to do both games, which included traveling with the team to Edwardsville, which is approximately 20 miles away from St. Louis for those who don’t know. It was quite an interesting trip and here are some of the highlights from the trip.

–          The team had a special VIP in UM Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt, as he traveled with the team to Edwardsville. Hocutt traveled with the team, attending shootaround in the morning as well as the game that night. He is also the only witness I have that saw me hit a half-court shot after the game.

–          Sylvia Bullock was slated to make her first collegiate start against the Cougars, but seemingly in all the excitement, she could not find her jersey. Apparently she had it in a different bag and could not find it at first, so at the last minute, Coach Meier had to replace her in the starting lineup. She did eventually find her #34 jersey and get into the game.

–          On the team, everyone has a nickname, even the coaches. A favorite has to be Charmaine Clark’s, whose nickname is “Baywatch”, after the TV show of the same name. I asked her why that was and it is because of the way she runs, which reminded some of the way the show’s characters run during the famous (infamous maybe?) intro.

–          Ashley Sours had a career-high 16 points in Miami’s win over SIU Edwardsville, and was also credited with 4 blocks. Sours had a large height advantage and was quite the force to be reckoned with. Talking with her after the game though, she claims to have had even more than four blocks, and that wouldn’t surprise me if it were true. Whenever a player drove to the basket while Sours was in, she forced a shot change every time and it wouldn’t surprise me if she had more than 4 blocks from tips, which are hard to pick up

–          The team played at approximately the same time Wednesday night as the men’s team, who defeated top ten ranked Wake Forest at the Bank United Center. The girls did not find out about the upset until they were in the bus after their victory. Briyana Blair served as the informant, reading the game story from her cell phone. The team was shocked, to say the least, that the men’s team was able to beat Wake by such a sizable margin.

 

So now, after the women’s tough loss to Florida State, they will travel to Blacksburg, Virginia to take on the Hokies of Virginia Tech. The Hokies are a below .500 team, but every team in the ACC is good, and Virginia Tech is a good home team, going 8-5 in Blacksburg, as opposed to 3-8 on the road and at neutral sites. Miami also needs to look out for a couple of high scorers in forward Utahya Drye and guard Lindsay Biggs, both of whom average double figures. Scott Braun will be handling the play-by-play duties for WVUM, with tip off slated for 7pm Thursday night.

 

Answer to last week’s trivia question: Tamara James was the last Hurricane to be named to her conference’s All-Freshman team for the 2002-2003 season.

 

This week’s question: Two former players’ numbers from the women’s team have been retired. Who are they and for extra credit, what were their numbers? Answer next week.

 

 

Voice_of_the_’Canes
Feb. 2, 2009

From covering this team and being around their practices, one thing that has stuck out at me has been the strength of Miami’s scouting. The Canes always come out and execute the game plan- ithas been a huge constant this whole season and was put on display this past Sunday against Wake Forest. But again, Miami’s opponent got a huge lift from someone unexpected. Coming into Sunday, Demon Deacon forward Alex Tchangoue had scored 24 and 25 points in her last two games and led the team with 14.7 per game, but Miami held her to only six shots and nine points. At 6.4 points per game, Secily Ray was fifth on the team in scoring but stepped up and had a career-high 24 points. It’s a theme this year for the Hurricanes- they execute the game plan, but still get beat when someone else steps up. Give credit also to the ladies for not throwing in the towel after being down 17 at the half and making a second half rally to keep the issue in doubt.

The Hurricanes now travel to SIU- Edwardsville in their last non-conference game of the regular season. The Canes have a 10-4 record against opponents outside the ACC this season, so this is a chance for Miami to get a win and build momentum for their final seven conference games, which include trips to Florida State, Virginia, and North Carolina.

A quick note for WVUM listeners: Due to conflicting times with the men’s game against Wake Forest, Wednesday night’s broadcast will be tape delayed and played on the air following the conclusion of that game’s broadcast. I’ll have the call for that game and I want to try and bring you fans of the women’s team into the broadcast. If any of you have any questions that you would like me to answer, either about the team, myself, or WVUM, email me at sports@wvum.org and I will try and include as many as I can in that broadcast. You can also send any comments you may have about this blog to that address as well. Thank you all and be sure to tune in for both the Men’s game at 7:30pm Wednesday evening followed by the women following thereafter. I will share some of my experiences from this road trip next week.

I’ll end this blog with a quick trivia question. Against Wake Forest this past Sunday, Shenise Johnson scored a career-high 22 points, furthering her resume for the All-Freshman ACC team. The question is this: Who was the last Miami Hurricane to be named to her conference’s All-Freshman team?

The answer will be revealed during the broadcast and in the next blog in case you miss it.

 

 

 

 

Voice_of_the_’Canes
Jan. 26, 2009

“We better win this next game!”

Miami had just fallen to Boston College in Chestnut Hill to go 0-4 to start ACC play and Shenise Johnson made it known on the bus ride to the airport, and then a few days later on the court, that 0-5 was unacceptable. Johnson set the tone early in Miami’s 72-60 victory over the North Carolina State Wolfpack by nailing her first four shots en route to an 11-point, 13-rebound performance and her team leading fourth double-double of the season.

Miami had played all four of their previous ACC opponents tough, but the ball never seemed to bounce Miami’s way. The Hurricanes had their chances in every conference game this year, even if the final scores did not seem to dictate that. The team that was picked second to last in the ACC preseason poll led Clemson by 13 with ten minutes to play, but the last ten minutes their shots did not fall and Clemson’s did. They led nationally ranked Georgia Tech at the half, and despite a 15-0 Yellow Jacket run, were only down three with six minutes left. Miami was also down two points at the half to a Duke Blue Devil team ranked as high as fifth in the nation, in Cameron Indoor no less. And then there was Boston College. A team whose offense was led by two towering post players, who were held in check the entire game. During that game the Eagles’ basket seemed to be that much bigger as BC squashed every Miami comeback attempt.

It was only a matter of time until the ‘Canes got their first ACC victory, but this was not a fluke- Miami’s a team to watch out for. Before a hurricane strikes, meteorologists always tell their viewers not to take these storms lightly. Miami’s opponents better follow their advice, or they may get blown away by a Hurricane squad that was not big enough on their radar.

Also of note, Riquna Williams continues an impressive 2009, leading the team in scoring once again with 18 points against the Wolfpack. Williams was a prolific scorer in high school at Pahokee, averaging over 30 points per game and even scoring 55 points in a game against the defending state championship team, so it’s no surprise that she can put points on the board. She has led the team in scoring in four of the team’s last six games and continues to lead the team in points per game in conference play.

Miami’s next match-up will take place Thursday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. They get another shot at Georgia Tech, though this time the game will be played in Atlanta.

The ‘Canes’ next game at the BankUnited Center is on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1. Two lucky fans will win a 42 plasma television with mounting equipment and installation included just in time to watch the Steelers and Cardinals in Tampa Bay.