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Canes Top Alaska-Anchorage, 72-55, in Great Alaska Shootout

Nov. 23, 2011

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP)Shenise Johnson scored 18 points and No. 9 Miami beat Alaska-Anchorage 72-55 on Wednesday night in the opening round of the Carrs-Safeway Great Alaska Shootout.

The Hurricanes (3-1) shot just 27 percent in the first half against the Division II Seawolves (4-1) and trailed much of the period. Alaska-Anchorage’s biggest lead of the half was four, but Johnson’s 3-pointer just before the first-half buzzer gave Miami a 28-26 lead.

Miami coach Katie Meier said she shared “a few choice words” with her team at halftime, challenging each of them to do what they do best. She also changed up the defense.

“We brought out the full-court pressure,” Meier said. “I think that changed the game.”

After forcing 10 turnovers in the first half, the Hurricane pressure forced the Seawolves into 18 more in the second half, leading to easy transition points.

The Hurricanes held Alaska-Anchorage to just three field goals over the first 7 minutes of the second half, racing to a 45-35 lead behind Morgan Stroman’s five points and Maria Brown’s three-point play.

The Seawolves answered with a 3-pointer by Tijera Mathews and a basket by Kaylie Robison to close to 45-40 with 10:49 remaining but could get no closer.

Johnson’s 3-pointer led a 10-0 run to put Miami up 57-41 with just under 8 minutes left.

Alaska-Anchorage coach Tim Moser said his team couldn’t sustain a plan to slow the pace and make it a half-court game.

“Our game plan was to put everyone in the gym to sleep, except us,” he said. It worked in the first half, he said, until the bigger, faster Hurricanes hit them with the stifling full-court pressure, something they’re not likely to see the rest of their schedule.

“Our kids got a little nervous because they don’t see it.”

Meier credited Alaska-Anchorage’s physical play for keeping the game close early. The Seawolves outrebounded Miami 39-33, and Miami adjusted on offense by moving its shooters outside, Meier said. Miami shot 40 percent from the field in the second half.

Johnson was 3 for 6 from 3-point range but Miami shot just 4 for 22 from beyond the arc.

Stroman and Riquna Williams each scored 14 points for Miami.

Robison, Mathews, Hanna Johansson, and Hallie Holmstead had 10 points apiece for Alaska-Anchorage.

  1st 2nd F
Miami 28 44 72
Alaska Anchorage 26 29 55

Team Stat Comparison
  AAU UM
Points 55 72
FG Made-Attempted 20-50 22-64
FG Percentage 40.0 34.4
3P Made-Attempted 4-9 4-22
3P Percentage 44.4 18.2
FT Made-Attempted 11-17 24-29
FT Percentage 64.7 82.8
Rebounds 39 33
Assists 12 12
Turnovers 28 11

Miami Stat Leaders Alaska Anchorage
Johnson 18 Points 10 Four Tied
Bullock 6 Rebounds 13 Robinson
Johnson/Williams 4 Assists 4 Three Tied
Johnson 6 Steals 1 Three Tied
Stroman 2 Blocks 2 Johansson

POST GAME NOTES

WELCOME HOME
Senior forward Sylvia Bullock, an Anchorage, Alaska native, had her homecoming as she played in front a large contingent of family and friends.

Bullock’s sister Beatrice helped Iowa to the Shootout title in 2001. Her brother Peter, meanwhile, played in four Shootouts during his career with UAA (2000-03).

Bullock finished the first round game with six points and a team-high six rebounds.

THREE-POINT STREAK
With four three-pointers against Alaska Anchorage, the Hurricanes have made at least one three-point field goal in 329 straight games, dating back to the 2000-01 season.

CAN’T HANDLE THE PRESS
The Hurricanes only led by two points at halftime. However, Miami went to a full court press in the second period and went on a 12-1 run to essentially put the game away. The Canes forced 18 of Alaska Anchorage’s 28 turnovers in the latter half.

DOUBLE-FIGURE STREAK
With 18 points against Alaska Anchorage on Nov. 23, senior Shenise Johnson has now scored in double-figures in 75 straight games – the highest active streak of any Atlantic Coast Conference player.