Sports

Hurricanes advance to NIT Championship

Miami players celebrate after defeating Michigan 76-59 in the semifinal round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament NCAA college basketball game at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Wednesday, March 31, 2010. Melanie Maxwell // Associated Press

As they move into their final game, it seems like the Miami Hurricane women’s basketball team saved the best for last this season.

The Canes (22-13) moved on to the the NIT championship game after their 76-59 blow out against Michigan on Wednesday.

Just like they have done all season, sophomore sensations Shenise Johnson and Riquna Williams led the Hurricanes. Johnson accounted for 17 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and four steals in 36 minutes of action. Williams was dynamite, she had 26 points in 28 minutes of play. Williams connected on seven three-pointers and silenced the crowd at the Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Head coach Katie Meier has called this her greatest season and it has been an extraordinary run for her team.

“It’s such a big honor,” Meier said. “There’s really nothing to say. It’s been a great run.”

Leading 37-33 at halftime, the Hurricanes dominated the Wolverines even more after they took the court in the second half. The Lady Canes connected on 16-for-34 from the field and shot from the three-point land 45 percent of the time. The defense was stifling as the Canes held Michigan to nine shots in the second half. Miami outscored Michigan 39-26.

Senior Charmaine Clark had all of her 10 points in the second half and collected 10 rebounds as well.

For the game, Michigan was held to 39 percent shooting and just 23 percent from beyond the arc. From the moment Williams came off the bench, she was a spark. Miami outscored Michigan’s bench 34 to 12 and out-rebounded the Wolverine’s 45-36.

Miami has had plenty of dilemmas this season. The lady Canes lost 11 ACC games and total of 13 losses. Now, the Canes are in the NIT Championship game and the only ACC team still playing.

“We could have folded a long time ago,” Meier said. “We had some tough losses. But these girls have taken advantage of being able to rewrite the script. It’s been beautiful.”

Throughout the NIT, Johnson and Williams have carried the Canes, who had never won two postseason games in the same season before this incredible run. The duo combined for 57 of the team’s 73 points against Providence in the semifinals. Johnson scored a career-high 33 points and had 10 rebounds and Williams accounted for 24 points off the bench. The two combined for 11-for-16 in the first half while the rest of the team was 0-for-13 from the field.

Meier has guided the Canes to their ninth 20-win season in program history and the first since the 2003-2004 season when the Canes advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

Miami will play the winner of California and Illinois State who square off Thursday at 7:05 CST.

Lelan LeDoux may be contacted at lledoux@themiamihurricane.com.

March 31, 2010

Reporters

Lelan LeDoux

Senior Sports Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

UM dining services team earns national recognition for special event catering. ...

From hammerheads to great whites, University of Miami researcher Neil Hammerschlag is a dedicated sp ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

Miami senior Tyler Gauthier was named to the 2018 Fall Watch List for the Rimington Trophy presented ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.