Hurricane Sports Writer
With goals of appearing in a postseason tournament, the University of Miami women’s basketball team continues to find new ways to win.
On Wednesday, the Hurricanes defeated Big East doormat St. John’s, 68-51, in Jamaica, New York, extending their win streak to three games.
The victory improved Miami’s record to 12-6, including a 5-3 mark in the Big East. The Red Storm dropped to 0-7 in conference play and 3-15 overall. Associate head coach Robin Harmony was pleased that the Hurricanes came out of the contest with a victory.
“This was not an easy game, especially considering the circumstances with the coaching change,” said Harmony, referring to the recent St. John’s coaching shakeup. “We didn’t know what to expect from St. Johns and of what we saw, they certainly did not play bad.”
Junior Meghan Saake led Miami with 17 points, hitting six of seven from the free throw line. Sophomore Shaquana Wilkins posted her third consecutive double-digit scoring game, scoring 11 of her 13 points in the second half. Fellow sophomore Chanivia Broussard also chipped in for the Hurricanes, scoring 12.
“It was very nice to get several players in double figures for us tonight,” Harmony said. “Having several players step up really helped us get the victory, and it was also nice to hit our free throws, especially during a road game.”
Miami struggled out of the gate, shooting just 33 percent in the first 20 minutes. The Red Storm, however, was unable to do much better in the first half which contained six ties and 12 lead changes before the break.
Leading 29-28, Miami turned up its game in the second half, reeling off 13 unanswered points to give them a 20-point lead with 9:43 left in the game.
“We definitely struggled during the first 20 minutes,” Harmony said. “At the half, we talked about picking up our intensity and overall game, and even though we made it hard for ourselves at times, we were able to go on that big run and never look back.”
Junior Alicia Hartlaub and freshman Melissa Knight led the Hurricane rebounding attack, pulling down eight apiece.
Miami played a solid game altogether on the defensive end, holding the Red Storm to just 32 percent shooting while forcing 25 turnovers. The ‘Canes also picked up 16 steals in the process.
Tomorrow night, Miami returns home to the Knight Sports Complex for a 7:00 p.m. game with Rutgers. Last season’s meeting between the two teams in Miami provided one of the most sloppily played games of the year, as the Hurricanes and Scarlet Knights combined for 57 turnovers. Rutgers won the game 39-37 on a controversial buzzer-beating layup by current sophomore Nikki Jett.
Miami owns a 1-0 advantage in this season’s series, however, with the Hurricanes defeating Rutgers 67-53 in Piscataway, N.J. behind a strong performance from Martha Bodley. The 6-3 senior came off the bench to score a career-high 18 points while grabbing 14 rebounds in 30 minutes. Miami has played well at home, posting an 8-2 record.