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No. 21 Virginia Edges Miami in Overtime

Feb. 19, 2009

Box Score | Quotes

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Miami women’s basketball team (13-13, 2-9) led most of the way against the No. 21/23 Virginia Cavaliers (20-7, 6-5) at the John Paul Jones Arena.  However a Lyndra Littles last second shot sent the game in overtime, where the home team pulled out the 84-74 victory.

Miami, in search of its first victory against a ranked team in more than three years, saw Littles tie it with a no-look heave from the foul line that banked in with 3.8 seconds left in regulation.

Unfortunately for the ‘Canes, the game was decided at the free throw line.  Virginia attempted 44 shots from the charity stripe, making 30, while Miami was awarded only 18 attempts.

“I am really proud of the way my team played tonight,” said Miami head coach Katie Meier. “Look out for Miami from here on out.  We won’t be taken lightly anymore.”

Freshman Shenise Johnson led the Hurricanes with 25 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, falling just short of her first triple-double.  The Henrietta, N.Y. native sank two free throws with 12.5 seconds left in regulation that made Littles’ improbable tying bank shot necessary.

Senior LaToya Cunningham added 11 points for the Hurricanes, nine coming from three three-pointers and was the only player to play all 45 minutes of the game.

“Moe Moe (Johnson) and LaToya played their tails off tonight,” added Meier.  “They showed a lot of heart and guts in leading this team.”

Woodson made an 18-footer to give Miami a 68-66 lead with 28 seconds left in regulation, but Wright tied it for Virginia, scoring inside with just 16 seconds left on the clock.

Johnson was fouled on an inbounds play with 12.5 seconds left, sending the freshman to the line for a 1-and-1 opportunity, and she swished them both to make it 70-68.

After a timeout, Virginia got the ball to Littles, who was stopped at the foul line attempting to drive and threw up a no-look heave, clearly aware the clock was running down. The ball banked off the backboard and through with 3.8 seconds left, and Wright blocked Woodson’s 3-point try just before the buzzer, sending the game to an extra period.

Virginia trailed most of the way, but finally pulled ahead at 48-47 on Moorer’s foul-line jumper with 9:05 to play. It was the Cavaliers’ first lead since the opening minutes, and it didn’t last as Riquna Williams hit a 3-pointer for her only field goal and Cunningham followed a Virginia miss with her third 3-pointer of the game to make it 53-48.

Monica Wright added 21 points and Aisha Mohammed had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers (20-7, 6-5 Atlantic Coast Conference), who barely ended a two-game losing streak.

The game was part of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) “Pink Zone” initiative – a global, unified effort to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond.

The Hurricanes will remain on the road as they travel to Tallahassee, Fla. to take on Florida State Sunday at 1 p.m.