No. 12 Miami Now Tied for ACC Lead with Win Over Wake Forest
Feb. 21, 2011
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.
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.
With the win, the Hurricanes are now…
On the Rise
Spreading the Wealth
Here we come
Turning it up
Faces in the Crowd
Rowing Dedicates Shells