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Miami Closes Road Schedule With 90-76 Loss to Tar Heels

Feb. 26, 2009

Box Score

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The University of Miami women’s basketball team (13-15, 2-11) fell at the Dean E. Smith Center to the No.9/10 North Carolina Tar Heels (25-4, 10-3), 90-76. 

Senior Lamese James led the Hurricanes in scoring, tying her career-high with 17 points.  James, scored 15 of those points in the second half, helping Miami get back into the game with a 17-5 run. 

“We play with pride at Miami, for a short time we lost that, but Lamese brought it back for us in the second half,” said head coach Katie Meier.

James’ big second half was rivaled only by Epiphany Woodson’s first half.  The sophomore guard scored 12 points in the opening period, all coming on three-point field goals, matching a career-high.  For the game, the Charlotte native scored 16 points, matching her season-high.

Adding three, three pointers of her own was senior captain LaToya Cunningham.  In all, Cunningham scored 13 points, scoring in double-figures for the 12th-time this season.  The Vallejo, Calif. native dished out eight assists, one shy of her career-high.

The Tar Heels were led by sophomore point guard Cetera DeGraffenreid, who scored a career-high 23 points, 11 of which came from the free-throw line. 

Five different players scored in double-figure for the high scoring home team, including Rashanda McCants (21), Jessica Breland (16), Italee Lucas (11), Chay Shegog (10) and DeGraffenreid.

Freshmen Shenise Johnson, in her first game since winning her third ACC Freshman of the Week Award, scored 11 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.  The Henrietta, N.Y. native also dished out five assists and had her hand in on four steals.

North Carolina led 46-34 going in the break, but extended that lead to 25 in the opening nine minutes of the second-half, before Miami went on its run.  The 90 points given up to the Heels was a season-high for Miami, as was the 54 allowed in the paint.

Despite the loss, Meier has faith in her tough team.  “The ACC gave us a tough schedule to end the season, facing four ranked teams with three of those coming on the road.  But, I think that we are playing our best basketball right now.  I don’t think any team wants to draw Miami in the tournament,” added Meier.

The Hurricanes return to the BankUnited Center on Sunday, March 1 when they face the fifth-ranked Maryland Terrapins on senior day.  Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.  For ticket information, please call 1-800-Go-Canes or visit hurricanesports.com.