No. 12 Miami Now Tied for ACC Lead with Win Over Wake Forest

Feb. 21, 2011

Box Score Get Acrobat Reader


By Rob Dunning

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – It is the same feeling you get when you watch Connecticut, Tennessee or Stanford. One team has everything working and the other is just trying not to get blown out. Miami had it Monday night and Wake Forest just couldn’t keep up.

The 12th-ranked University of Miami women’s basketball team improved to 24-3 overall and 10-2 in ACC play with a dominant 74-46 win over the visiting Demon Deacons (12-16, 3-9 ACC) Monday night at the BankUnited Center. The victory not only clinched a bye for Miami in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, but it tied the `Canes with No. 9 Duke and No. 14 Florida State for first place in the conference standings.

The `Canes will now begin preparation for what could and should be their biggest game of the year – a showdown with the rival Seminoles here at the BankUnited Center in three days.

But before UM could start thinking about FSU, it had to take care of Wake Forest.

Easy enough.

The Hurricanes did Monday night what they have done to so many opponents this year – pressure, overwhelm and ultimately win with ease.

From the start, Miami controlled the action, going up 13-5 and then 18-9 before grabbing a double-digit lead that would prove to hold the rest of the way. The `Canes held a 39-21 lead at the break and as the second half wore on, UM’s lead grew to 20 with six minutes to play and then 30 a few minutes later before eventually winning by a comfortable 28.

“We were a little off and weren’t as together as we needed to be yet we still came out with a 28-point victory,” head coach Katie Meier said. “We are still pushing, we are still grinding and we expect to play better than we did tonight.”

Shenise Johnson had yet another impressive scoring performance in what has seemingly become just another night out for the All-America candidate. Johnson scored a game-high 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, four assists and five steals. She is now averaging 23.8 points per game over UM’s last four contests.

“She is on her game,” Meier said. “It is something very special when she is on her game. We definitely try to call a little more for her [right now].”

Johnson was joined in double figures by Riquna Williams (16), Morgan Stroman (11) and Stefanie Yderstrom (10), who reached double-digit scoring for the third straight game. For Stroman, Monday night marked the sophomore’s 10th double-double of the season as she pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds.

The `Canes didn’t shoot particularly well from the field – connecting on just 36.5-percent of their attempts – but they did continue their hot hand from the free throw line, hitting on 19-of-22 attempts from the charity stripe against the Demon Deacons. Over the last three games, UM has now connected on 58-of-69 attempts from the line (84%).

The difference in the game, however, came down to what Miami does best – forcing turnovers and getting up and down the court. UM pressured Wake into 21 turnovers and held a 15-to-3 fast break advantage despite taking their foot off the gas for most of the second half.

Chelsea Douglas led the Demon Deacons with 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting, while Sandra Garcia had an effective night inside with seven points and 11 rebounds.

The win sets up what will be the most important six-day span the program has seen in quite some time. The Hurricanes will host FSU on Thursday before traveling to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech. Win both, and the `Canes are secured at least the No. 2 seed for the ACC Tournament. Win both and hope for a Duke loss in one of its two final games, and the `Canes will have earned the top seed next week in Greensboro.

“We’re happy with the win, but 36-percent is not going to win the basketball games that we need to win in the next six weeks,” Meier said.

1st 2nd F
Miami 39 35 74
Wake Forest 21 25 46
Team Stat Comparison
Points 74 46
FG Made-Attempted 23-63 15-69
FG Percentage 36.5 21.7
3P Made-Attempted 9-26 6-19
3P Percentage 34.6 31.6
FT Made-Attempted 19-22 10-14
FT Percentage 86.4 71.4
Rebounds 50 48
Assists 16 8
Turnovers 17 21
Miami Stat Leaders Wake Forest
S. Johnson 19 Points 12 C. Douglas
M. Stroman 10 Rebounds 11 S. Garcia
Two Tied 4 Assists 2 Two Tied
S. Johnson 5 Steals 2 Two Tied
Three Tied 2 Blocks 1 Two Tied

Post-Game Notes

Tonight’s Starters
Coach Katie Meier started Shenise Johnson, Riquna Williams, Morgan Stroman, Stefanie Yderstrom and Sylvia Bullock once again. The same group has started all 27 games this season – most in the country with one starting unit.

With the win, the Hurricanes are now…

  • 24-3 overall
  • 7-2 ACC
  • 19-0 at the BankUnited Center this season
  • Winners of 23 straight home games
  • Winners of 23 of 25 games
  • 4-6 all-time versus Wake Forest

WBCA PinkZone
The color of the night was pink, as the teams and those in attendance wore the color to raise breast cancer awareness. There were special ceremonies throughout the game as the University of Miami celebrated breast cancer survivors, educated fans about breast health and raised money in support of the cause.

Be sure to check the online shop to bid on the auction for Katie Meier’s pink sneakers by clicking here.

On the Rise
The `Canes continue to set a new team record for ACC wins with 10 now, as they currently sit in a three-way tie atop the conference with Duke and Florida State. The win clinched a first round bye in the upcoming ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C.

Tonight’s Opponent
The Demon Deacons came into Miami coming off a heartbreaking 82-79 loss to No. 12 Florida State last Thursday. Wake Forest had won the last four meetings in the series, including the matchup in the opening round of the last year’s ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C. with a 66-65 win in overtime.

Spreading the Wealth
Coach Meier mixed and matched her lineup throughout the night, as all nine active players saw significant minutes giving players a chance to rest with two crucial games coming up later in the week. The `Canes look to exact revenge on Thursday night as they host No. 14 Florida at BankUnited for “Senior Citizen Night” before traveling to face an always tough Georgia Tech team in the regular season finale Sunday afternoon.

Freshman Stephanie Gardner took advantage of increased playing time putting up new career highs in points (8), minutes (17) and three pointers made (2).

Here we come
The `Canes were on the move once again putting up 15 total fast break points on the night compared to Wake Forest’s three. Miami forced 21 more turnovers converting them into 21 points.

Gimme That
Shenise Johnson continued her thievery grabbing five more steals. The junior came into the game ranked sixth in the nation in steals averaging 3.3 per game.

Miami’s trademark pressure defense smothered the Demon Deacons all night forcing them to shoot only 21.7% shooting from the field, the lowest for a Hurricane ACC opponent this season. Overall, it is the second-lowest for a Hurricane opponent on the year, as Alcorn State shot 21.2% from the field on Dec. 11.

Sophomore forward Morgan Stroman recorded her third consecutive and 10th double-double of the season, scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 boards.

Turning it up
Sophomore Stefanie Yderstrom started off slow in ACC averaging only 3.6 points per game during her first seven games, but has since averaged 10.0 points per game her last five times out in conference play. She has also averaged 3.7 assists per game over the last seven contests.

Faces in the Crowd
Among those enjoying the game in the crowd tonight were Director Athletics Kirby Hocutt, head football coach Al Golden, offensive line coach Art Kehoe, Leonard Hankerson, Reggie Johnson and Malcolm Grant.

Rowing Dedicates Shells
Head coach Andrew Carter and the rest of the rowing team christened two new shells during a special halftime ceremony. The team honored Associate Athletic Director for Internal Operations by naming one of the shells The Connie Nickel. The other was announced as The Mary Louise.