Hurricanes Fall in Overtime to Wake Forest in ACC Tournament
March 4, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. –
The 12th-seeded University of Miami women’s baketball team fell in overtime, 66-65 to the fifth-seeded Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the opening round of the ACC Tournament, Thursday at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Brittany Waters’ three-point play with one minute left in overtime broke the day’s final tie and elevated fifth-seeded Wake Forest over a determined and 12th-seeded Miami team.
“Our coach talked about resilience at halftime, and we just stuck to it,” Waters said of the boss, Mike Petersen. “We took it play-by-play and made some smart plays. If you dwell on one play or one thing, you’ll be messed up for the rest of the game.”
The Demon Deacons trailed 36-25 at one point in the second half and surged to a seven-point lead before the Canes rallied behind Riquna Williams, whose dribble penetration kept Wake off balance all day. Williams delivered 28 points for Miami (17-13).
Waters’ runner in the lane and subsequent free throw gave Wake a 66-63 edge, and the Deacs admitted that conventional offense had evolved into Afternoon at the Improv.
“They figured out our plays,” Waters said. “They got smart with it. Once they figure it out, you’ve just got to play basketball. You look for open players. You look for open gaps. And then you have confidence that you can do it.”
Williams drove down the key for a layup less than 13 seconds later to make it 66-65. The Hurricanes forced a 30-foot 3-point field-goal attempt, snagged the rebound and called time out with 12.2 seconds to set up a final play.
Coach Katie Meier elected to employ Williams as a decoy and run things through her other leader, forward Shenise Johnson. Miami cleared the right side of the floor for Johnson, but Courteney Morris stood her ground, got two hands in Johnson’s face without fouling and induced a miss that ended it.
“Pretty crazy,” Morris said. “I just tried to get my hand up.”
The Deacs (18-12) advanced to Friday’s quarterfinal against fourth-seeded Georgia Tech (22-8). The Yellow Jackets won the teams’ regular-season meeting 72-66 in Atlanta on Jan. 14.
Friday’s outcome wasn’t resolved until five extra minutes had expired, but Wake effectively won it with a stretch in which it eliminated turnovers and re-established the post presence of freshman Sandra Garcia, who scored six of her 18 points in quick succession. That finally freed up the perimeter, and when Morris made a 3-pointer off the left wing with 12:35 left, the Deacs were on the board from downtown and leading 40-38 on the strength of an 11-0 run.
The Deacs held the Hurricanes to one field goal in a 10-minute stretch and took a 50-43 lead with 6:46 to play, but Johnson and Williams combined for 15 points to lead the overtime-forcing rally. Johnson’s drive off a clear-out tied it at 59-59 with 16.8 seconds to go.
Wake missed a last-second shot at the buzzer, and the teams went to OT. Waters gave her team some breathing room, but there was no cause to exhale entirely until Johnson’s last shot carried over the basket.
Postgame quotes – #12 Miami
Amy Yakola: A reminder we’ll start with the comment from the Head Coach and we’ll take questions. I’m please to be joined up by Miami Head Coach Katie Meier and Riquna Williams and Shenise Johnson. Coach your comments?
Katie Meier: It’s a tough loss. It’s not a loss that we’ll hang over by any stretch of the imagination. There are moments where teams reveal themselves to the world or to the head coach. The team revealed itself to me early in the season. I couldn’t levitate more and they are so gritty and tough and so together, we came in here as the 12th seed and we denied that seed. And we won’t accept it still. I think there is no question that Miami is a special team and I wish you could have an opportunity to coach them. They are amazing individuals and they are super deep and strong and both character people and unbelievable basketball players, and they’ll never quit, and never stop, and I’m blessed. So I could be down, but there is so much pride welling up in my chest and what they are made of and what we have been through this year. And it’s been tough, and how many overtime losses and wins and last second plays in the conference for those opportunities, and we’ll continue to build on them. I like at end of the game I have two sophomores and two freshmen out there and a senior, and they are battling out there to win.
Coach, Garcia had an easy time, and what adjustments did you make after that?
Katie Meier: We started rotating well and our first half adjustments were great. We hit the wall at the 13-minute mark, somewhere in there. It takes a lot of energy to cover up. We are asking our guards and small forwards to cover so much and we are running those traps. We lost our legs a little bit and stretched after the first, and the second half we have to have more support coming off the bench to help us. I told the team we have a lot to overcome. And to overcome we have to try to impress and whatever. And you have to be heroic in all other areas. And I thought we were heroic in all other areas except for the defensive rebounding, and that is what it came down to.
Amy Yakola: We’ll go back to Mike.
This is for both of the players. What have you learned most from having been in the post season? And are you expecting to have post season play.
Shenise Williams: What have I learned? I have learned it’s a tough conference.
And very fun playing, but of course we want to win in the post-season, and we definitely are expecting to go somewhere whether it be NIT or NCAA we are expecting to go somewhere. We learned that you can’t play around with these teams when you have it down. You have to put them away.
Riquana Williams: Like you can’t play around, you have to finish. And of course we are going to make the post-season, that is what we dream of. It’s the biggest goal to come into the season to make post season.
Shenise, what about the look you got in the game. What kind of a shot.
Shenise Williams: A great look. I went up soft and a jump shot, and I had a decent look.