CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Dramatic endings over the weekend have set up what could prove to be an even more dramatic match up on Friday night. No. 5 Miami will head to Durham, N.C. at 7 p.m. to face the No. 7 Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Each team currently sports a 13-1 conference record heading into the contest in which the winnner will most likely take the ACC Regular Season crown and earn a No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament.
The Canes have had no success to date against the Blue Devils, having yet to win in eight all-time meetings. However, the injury bug has hit Duke hard this season, as it is left with eight scholarship players. One of those players is freshman center Elizabehth Williams. The frosh as been named the ACC Rookie of the Week on eight occasions this season. Sophomore point guard Chelsea Gray is also a playmaker, averaging a league-leading 6.0 assists per game and scoring 11.5 points per contest.
When Miami’s junior forward Morgan Stroman went down with a season-ending Achilles injury, a huge void was left for the Canes. Not one member of the team can completely fill that void, but none has done more than Stefanie Yderstrom to help Miami since.
Before the Stroman injury, Yderstrom averaged 9.1 points per game and scored in double figures in nine of 19 games. In the eight games since, the Swede has scored in double digits six times, twice setting her career high with 22 points vs. Virginia Tech and 26 at No. 8 Maryland. Over that span, the 5-8 guard has averaged 13.9 points and has connected on 18 three-pointers.
UM Duo Honored on Wooden and USBWA Lists
Miami Hurricanes Shenise Johnson and Riquna Williams have been named to the Women’s Midseason Nominee List for the 2011 John R. Wooden Award and the USBWA National Player of the Year Award. The Midseason Lists names the Top 20 candidates for each award.
Canes Reach Highest-Ever Ranking
The Hurricanes, who finished the 2010-2011 season ranked tenth in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll, moved up three spots in anticipation of their 2011-12 season. The No. 7 ranking in the Coaches’ Poll is the highest rank in program history to begin a season.
The Hurricanes were also ranked No. 7 in the preseason Associated Press Poll.
Miami is currently ranked 5th in both the AP and Coaches Polls – the highest ranking in school history.
Protecting the BankUnited Center
With Miami’s season-opening win over Texas-Pan American, the Canes won their 25th-consecutive home contest – setting a new program record.
Miami has extended that record to 39 games after its 67-60 victory over Rival Florida State on Feb. 19. The streak is currently the second-longest active streak in the nation, behind only Stanford (76). The streak began with the team’s final regular season home game of the 2009-10 season and continued with a perfect 20-0 home record last season.
The previous record of 24 straight wins at home was set from the 1990-91 through the 1992-93 seasons.
Miami vs. Duke By The Numbers
Miami has won their last 13 games and will continue to extend their streak at Cameron Indoor on Friday in a heated matchup against conference rival Duke.
200 – Coach Meier took home her 200th win under on Sunday against Florida State, moving them atop the ACC standings.
39 – The win extended Miami’s home streak to 39 games. After St. John’s upset over Connecticut on Saturday, the Canes now own the second longest streak in the nation, trailing only Stanford’s 76.
24 – Riquna Williams led the Canes on Sunday with 24 points to seal the win. .
16 – Duke’s loss to Maryland snapped a 16 game win streak the Dukies had in ACC play, and a five game win streak overall.
12 – Chelsea Gray of Duke leads the ACC in game total assists with 13 against Pitt Dec. 4, and 11 versus Maryland on Jan 22. In the nation, she is No. 12 with a total of 85 on the season and an average of six per game. This has contributed to her two triple doubles on the season, placing her No. 2 in the nation.
10 – Duke and Miami rank side by side each other in 10 different categories in conference basketball statistics.
8 – All-American Shenise Johnson recorded her 8th double-double of the season and the 35th of her career – most of any current ACC player. Johnson will be double-trouble for the Blue Devils, as she leads the ACC and takes in points scored per game
7 – The Canes have notched themselves into the national rankings with a No. 7 in scoring margin (20.4). Duke takes the No. 6 spot with 21.3 point differential.
4 – Shenise Johnson, No. 4 in the nation for steals, had a conference-leading eight against UT Pan American back on Nov. 11. Overall, the Canes are quite the thieves with Johnson, Willians, and Yderstrom all having snagged seven steals in at least one game this season. Overall, Miami boasts 11.6 steals a game, while Duke averages 10.6 a game.
3 – Elizabeth Williams of Duke leads the ACC with blocked shots, ranking No. 3 in the nation; she took a season high of 12 against Wake Forest on Jan. 6, and has tallied 98 total on the season. Williams averages 3.8 stuffs per game.
.1 – In a battle of the boards, both Miami (25.7) and Duke (25.6) pull down substantial rebounds, with a .1 margin separating their averages. On the offensive side, the Canes hold the advantage at second in the conference with 17.7 per game, compared to Duke’s 15.5.
0 – Number of times Miami has beaten Duke.
On the Verge of Greatness
With just 20 more rebounds, senior Shenise Johnson will become just the third player in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history to score 2,000 points, pull down 1,000 rebounds and dish out 500 assists in a career.
After a nationwide survey, it was found that Stanford’s Nicole Powell (2000-04) and Old Dominion’s Nancy Lieberman (1976-1980) are the only other women to accomplish the feat. With just nine more steals, Johnson will join Lieberman as the only two women to also collect 400 or more career steals.
6-6 junior transfer Pepper Wilson arrived in Miami’s 73-61 win over NC State – the program’s first-ever win at the Wolfpack’s home arena. The powerful center scored a season-high 17 points, while ripping down a season-best 17 rebounds – the first double-double in a Miami uniform.