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Stroman's Emergence Inside Leads `Canes to Comfortable Win

Nov. 26, 2010

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By Rob Dunning

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Before the season started, University of Miami head women’s basketball coach Katie Meier would tell anyone that listened about how much Morgan Stroman improved her game in the offseason. Through the season’s first five games, it is safe to say Meier knew what she was talking about.

Stroman tied a career-high with 21 points to go along with seven rebounds, four steals and two assists in leading the `Canes to an 89-48 win over FAU Friday night at the 2010 UM Thanksgiving Tournament at the BankUnited Center.

The performance was yet another in what has become a consistent trend in Stroman’s second season in Coral Gables. Through five games, she is averaging 15.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.8 steals and 2.2 assists, a vast improvement over her 2009-10 averages (7.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.1 assists).

“I think we are a completely different team than we were last year because of Stroman’s improvement,” Meier said. “You have got to notice what happens with our players from their freshman years to their sophomore years. We spend a ton of time in the gym and in individual workouts and the kids take it seriously and really get a lot better in this program.”

Stroman’s development, much like that of All-ACC guards Shenise Johnson and Riquna Williams is a big reason for Miami’s early season success.

“Her jumper has opened up her game a little bit with her jump shot and her full court handle is as good as anyone’s on the team,” Meier said. “If she gets a rebound, she can bust out down the court and if that frees up our wings and our shooters, we are going to be very special.”

Friday night she connected on 9-of-12 attempts from the field, getting to the hoop consistently against an FAU team that had no answer for her on the inside.

“She’s a pressure reliever on the inside,” Johnson said. “You can’t just load up on us on the outside because we have an inside threat now. It definitely relieves the pressure off of us.”

Stroman wasn’t the only one that played well inside Friday night. Freshmen Maria Brown (7 points, 4 rebounds) and Selina Archer (5 points, 5 rebounds) also had strong games down low as Miami out-scored (58-to-18) and out-rebounded (59-to-35) FAU in the paint.

“It has been awhile since Miami had 58 points in the paint, trust me,” Meier said. “I am really pleased with that development.”

Johnson and Riquna Williams joined Stroman in double-figure scoring as Johnson turned in 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists while Williams finished with 13 points, three assists and three steals.

  1st 2nd F
Miami 41 48 89
FAU 27 21 48
Team Stat Comparison
  UM FAU
Points 89 48
FG Made-Attempted 34-79 17-56
FG Percentage 43.0 30.4
3P Made-Attempted 3-17 2-15
3P Percentage 17.6 13.3
FT Made-Attempted 18-31 12-21
FT Percentage 58.1 57.1
Rebounds 59 35
Assists 19 8
Turnovers 16 28
Miami Stat Leaders FAU
M. Stroman 21 Points 12 K. Smith
Johnson/Saunders 8 Rebounds 8 B. Turner
S. Johnson 5 Assists 4 K. Smith
S. Johnson 5 Steals 2 Barfield/Stamps
M. Brown 2 Blocks 2 L. Barfield

POST-GAME NOTES

Quick Hitters
– All 10 players that played for the `Canes tonight scored at least four points.
– FAU’s 28 turnovers on the night led to 32 points for Miami.
– Freshman guard Krystal Saunders grabbed a career-high eight rebounds.
– Miami’s biggest lead was 43, coming with 3:59 to play in the game.

The Other Williams
While All-ACC guard Riquna Williams gets most of the attention, it was her backcourt mate Shanel Williams who turned in one of the best games of her career Friday night, grabbing a career-best seven rebounds while scoring nine points on 4-for-6 shooting.

Stroman’s First Half
Morgan Stroman came out to play Friday night, recording 13 points, five rebounds, four steals and two assists in the opening half. Stroman hit on six of her first seven shots from the field.

Archer’s Fast Start
Freshman center Selina Archer has opened her collegiate career successfully making her first six shots from the field, going 3-for-3 in the season-opener against Kennesaw State, 2-for-2 against UAB and 1-for-1 to open the game against FAU Friday night.

UNCG Takes Game One
UNC Greensboro won the first game of the tournament with a 66-58 victory over Eastern Illinois. Janae’ Stevenson led the Spartans to the win, recording a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds to go along with two blocks and two assists.

Saturday’s Schedule
FAU will face Eastern Illinois in the tournament’s third-place game Saturday at 5 p.m. before the `Canes play UNC Greensboro in the championship game at approximately 7 p.m.

Ticket Information
Season tickets are available for as low as $50 for the 2010-11 University of Miami women’s basketball season. Tickets may be purchased online at HurricaneSports.com or by calling 1-800-GO-CANES.