`Canes Claim Share of ACC Regular Season Championship
Feb. 27, 2011
ATLANTA. –Riquna Williams scored 32 points and No. 12 Miami defeated Georgia Tech 70-59 on Sunday to close the ACC regular season with its sixth straight victory and a share of the conference regular season title.
The Hurricanes could have claimed an outright regular season title if UNC had defeated Duke on Sunday evening, but that did not happen.
It didn’t matter to Miami head coach Katie Meier,
“We’re not waiting on any other games,” said Meier minutes after the game. “We’re celebrating a championship right now and can’t wait to bring it home to Coral Gables.”
Duke owns the tie-breaker over Miami, meaning that the ‘Canes will be the No. 2 seed and have bye before beginning the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C. next week.
Williams, a junior guard who came in averaging 21.3 points, was 4 for 6 from behind the 3-point arc as Miami (26-3, 12-2) dashed Georgia Tech’s hopes of a first-round bye in the ACC tournament. She had 19 points after intermission and finished two shy of her career best.
“When she gets hot, no one can guard this young lady,” teammate Shenise Johnson said. “I keep saying it. No one in the country can guard Riquna Williams. I love having her on my team. I wouldn’t want to play with anyone else in the country.”
Williams scored eight points in a 12-3 run that gave Miami a 52-42 lead midway in the second half, and Georgia Tech (21-9, 9-5) couldn’t get closer than six points the rest of the way.
Johnson was the only other double-figure scorer for the Hurricanes, getting nine of her 11 points in the second half.
“We’re not shy about celebrating,” said Miami coach Katie Meier, whose team was picked to finish eighth in the ACC before the season. “We’ve celebrated this whole ride.”
Tyaunna Marshall led Georgia Tech with 15 points and Alex Montgomery scored 13.
Miami led 30-29 at halftime behind Williams’ 13 points. The Hurricanes took a 16-8 lead while starting the game 6 for 9 from the floor, but Georgia Tech then ran off nine straight points to take the lead and it was tight the rest of the way to halftime.
There were 29 turnovers in the first half, with the Yellow Jackets committing 15. Montgomery had 10 first-half points, including the first five during the 9-0 that got Georgia Tech going.
Montgomery and Deja Foster — Georgia Tech’s two seniors — were honored before the game. The Yellow Jackets have won 88 games during their careers, tying the school record.
“Georgia Tech is the toughest team in the league,” Meier said. “They’re as tough as nails. No one was going to give us anything. We had to go and get it.”
It was the final women’s basketball game at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, which will be demolished. Georgia Tech will play in temporary homes next season before moving into a new campus arena the following year.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Worst to First
This year, Miami finished the regular season with a 26-3 record, 12-2 in the ACC. The conference record assured the `Canes at least a share of the ACC regular season title and a No. 2 seed in the ACC Tournament.
If UNC defeats Duke in tonight’s game, Miami will earn the regular season title outright and a No. 1 seed in the tourney.
With the win, the Hurricanes are now…