As senior Lamese James put it last week, “We still can write our own book. We want to go to the ACC tournament and make a Cinderella story.”
Unfortunately the Miami Hurricanes women’s basketball team fell short against Boston College, 76-59, in the first round of the ACC Tournament and the chapter of Cinderella has been closed.
Boston College outscored the Hurricanes 40-18 in the post. It was the third meeting of the season between the Canes and Eagles, with Boston College (20-10) winning all three. Miami (13-17) ended the season on a six-game losing streak.
“By far it was the best Boston College has played,” head coach Katie Meier said. “We played them three times and a credit to them. That was a clinic of composure.”
Boston College led 36-29 at halftime and heated up in the second half. The Eagles shot 65 percent (19 of 29) in the second half and finished at 53 percent for the game. Miami was held to 35 percent shooting. At one point the Canes missed 12 consecutive shots in the first half. Freshman forward Shenise Johnson led the Hurricanes with 13 points and eight rebounds.
“I thought that was a tough stretch for us,” Meier said. “I felt it was a crucial in terms of kind of breaking us up. We lost our chemistry and flow. I think we lost some faith and confidence in our offensive game plan during that stretch.”
The lady Canes had a great beginning of the season. They started off 11-3 and won the UM Thanksgiving Tournament.
The Hurricanes had it tough down the stretch, as they faced four straight ranked teams. Then No. 21 Virginia edged out the Canes, 84-75 and Johnson was one rebound away from a triple double. Then No. 11 Florida State stole a game from Miami, 59-58, after the Hurricanes led the entire game. The Hurricanes played well against then No. 9 North Carolina and ACC regular season and ACC champions Maryland. The best thing for the Canes to improve on is conference play.
The Hurricanes really have a strong building block around two freshmen, guard Riquna Williams and McDonald’s All-American Johnson. Johnson was named to the ACC All-Freshman team and is in nomination for ACC Freshman of the Year. This season, for Miami, Johnson was the team leader in most statistical categories, including scoring, as she averaged 12.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.
Hailing from Pahokee, Fla. Williams knows what it takes to score in the ACC. She is aggressive and uses her stocky body to get to the rim. With more experience, Johnson and Williams will lead Miami to more wins.
“Those freshman are really good,” Meier said.
The future looks more promising for Miami. The Hurricanes will add five-star recruit 6’1 Morgan Stroman from Hopkins, SC. Stroman is a very athletic combo-forward and is the two-time Gatorade Player of the Year in South Carolina. She will be the second straight McDonald’s All-American Meier has signed.
With the returning talent and the incoming talent, Miami will look to do some damage in ACC play next season, as they attempt to bring themselves into the national eye.