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Hurricanes Second-Half Push Blows Out Houston

Hurricanes Second-Half Push Blows Out Houston

Nov. 24, 2009

Box Score

CORAL GABLES – The University of Miami women’s basketball team (5-0) continued their hot start to the 2009-10 season with a 68-54 win over the Houston Cougars (3-2) on UM’s Fourth Annual Youth Day at the BankUnited Center.

In front of 2,200 elementary and middle school students from Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, the Hurricanes used a strong second half to take down a talented Conference USA team in the Cougars.

Riquna Williams, who came into the game with an ACC leading 27.5 points per contest, went off for 21 second-half points and scored 28 for the day. The Pahokee, Fla. native hit four three-pointers and had two other three-point plays in the contest.

After trailing 29-26 at the break, the `Canes went on a 22-8 run to open the second half and never allowed Houston back into the game.

Shenise Johnson picked up her second double-double of the season as she scored 18 points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds. The Henrietta, N.Y. native also dealt out a game-high six assists and led her team with four offensive rebounds – helping Miami to 10 second-chance points.

Despite using only eight players, the Hurricanes ran up and down the floor and had 16 fast-break points, compared to only four for the Cougars. Many of those fast-break points can be credited to sophomore Sylvia Bullock who set a new school record with eight blocks in the game, six coming in the first half. The Anchorage, Alaska native finished with five points and four rebounds, three on the offensive end.

Coming into the game, Diane Barnes was the leading the ACC with 11.8 points per game and three double-doubles. The senior forward was again all over the glass, grabbing 10 boards but fell just short of her season’s fourth double-double as she scored eight points.

Johnson nearly had a double-double at the break as she had game-highs of 11 points and seven rebounds.

Miami struggled from the floor in the opening-half and went through a nearly six minute scoring drought that led to an 8-0 run by Houston in the first-half. Miami went from holding a 17-15 lead to trailing 23-17.

However, UM closed the half strong. Down by seven with 1:41 left, Miami scored on three consecutive fast-break layups, cutting into the lead to one. Houston’s Ashlee Joseph made two free throws, making the score 29-26.

The Hurricane defense was once again suffocating as it held the Cougars to 28.8 percent shooting for the game – the third consecutive opponent that Miami has held to under 30 percent shooting.

Houston’s Courtney Taylor was averaging 17.3 points and 13.5 rebounds per game coming into Coral Gables, but left with just five points and seven rebounds.

With the win over Houston, Miami now has defeated three opponents that had 19 wins a season ago.

This Friday, November 27, the Hurricanes will take on the Long Beach State in the opening round of the Fourth Annual Wyndham Miami Thanksgiving Tournament at 7 p.m. – following the UMass versus Rice contest that is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. The winners of each of the first-round games will face one another in the championship game, Saturday at 7 p.m. The consolation game with tip-off at 5 p.m.

For ticket information, please call 1-800-GO-CANES or visit