Things continue to get tougher for the University of Miami women’s basketball team as it lost its sixth ACC game of the season to Wake Forest, 78-69.
The Canes (11-10, 1-6) trailed by double digits for the entire second half and could not complete a comeback.
Wake Forest (14-5, 2-4) led by as many as 23 points, but the Hurricanes continued to fight and push the Demon Deacons until the end of the game.
“In the huddle we felt like we had it,” head coach Katie Meier said. “We wanted to pull off a heroic comeback. We all were feeling confident. It just didn’t go our way.”
An offensive spurt by Wake Forest came in the first half with the Demon Deacons marking 47 points and shooting 50 percent from the field.
Miami was held to 39 percent from the field, making just 16 percent of their 3-pointers. The Hurricanes outscored the Demon Deacons in the second half, but it was too late.
“We played the same way on defense in the first half, but we had no energy,” said Meier, whose team trailed 47-40 at the break. “We made adjustments at halftime. We are the type to play aggressive and take chances.”
On the boards, Wake Forest killed the Canes with a 50-33 advantage.
“We rebounded really good,” Wake Forest head coach Mike Peterson said. “We really talked about the importance of it before the game. They had some really good athletes. We just did a great job.”
Meier counted out numerous opportunities to score – 10 missed free throws and eight missed layups – that were all chances for Miami to close the gap.
“That’s 26 points,” Meier said. “Those shots [have]got to go in. We had the momentum and we have to make them. Seven of them were right-handed layups. It hurts to miss those and see them hit a 3-pointer.”
Freshman forward Shenise Johnson continued her outstanding play by scoring a career-high 22 points. Johnson leads all freshman in the ACC in scoring.
“Unfortunately we didn’t come out with a win,” Johnson said. “I’ll do whatever Miami asks me to do. Today was to score for the team.”
Freshman guard Riquna Williams finished with 15 points despite fighting foul trouble.
In her first collegiate start, Demon Deacon freshman guard Secily Ray had career-highs with 24 points and 11 rebounds.
“I felt nervous at first, but I calmed down. It felt good being out there.” Ray said.
Meier still feels confident that if Miami plays all 40 minutes with energy, the team’s record will improve.
“We have to stay focused and keep moving,” Meier said. “We are an energy team. We feed off each other’s energy.”
Miami now travels to Edwardsville, Ill., to face SIU- Edwardsville at 8 p.m. Wednesday.