It was very fitting that on a night when the Miami Hurricanes were presented with their 2010-2011 ACC championship rings, they returned to dominate – and beat Prairie View A&M 107-26.
“I thought that was an incredible performance by our bench,” head coach Katie Meier said after the game. “But I think it was absolutely additionally a statement from our starters. They played very angry. They played very determined. They played with a ton of confidence, but with an absolute focus on fixing what we didn’t do well in Tennessee.”
One of those starters was senior guard Shenise Johnson, who once again delivered a performance of All-American caliber, scoring 25 points in 20 minutes, snagging six boards, dishing out seven assists and recording seven steals. Johnson, who went 5 for 5 from beyond the arc, admitted after the game that she was playing with a bit of a chip on her shoulder.
“I’m disappointed in my effort at Tennessee. I really wanted to just focus on hitting shots,” she said. “I feel like I didn’t come through for my team at Tennessee at all. I wanted to instill confidence back into my team that they had in me.”
With the loss at Tennessee still fresh in their minds, the Canes put on a clinic Thursday night at the BankUnited Center, starting on a 19-0 run and keeping the visiting Panthers without a field goal in the first 10 minutes.
Miami was in control and in the lead throughout the whole contest, shooting 10 for 17 from three-point range and forcing a whopping 41 turnovers. According to Meier, the improvement from beyond the arc was especially important for the Canes.
“I was probably most pleased with our three,” she said.
“I thought we weren’t shooting a very good percentage from the three coming into the game as a team. I saw that this morning and I was shocked, because we’re a very good three-point shooting team, but I think we were very low so I was really happy to see the 10 for 17.”
The Hurricanes’ convincing win against a Prairie View A&M team that beat Rice early in the season set a UM record for margin of victory and extended the team’s record-breaking home winning streak to 26.
Meier was happy to see her team bounce back from a tough loss just 48 hours earlier, and saw it as a great learning experience for many of her younger players.
“The upperclassmen were teaching the bench tonight,” she said. “They were like, ‘this is how we respond to a loss, this is the defense we’re supposed to play, this is the confidence we’re supposed to play with.’ [It] doesn’t matter who the opponent is, Miami is Miami. Every time we take the court we need to be Miami.”
Next up for the Canes is the Great Alaska Shootout, where they will take on Alaska-Anchorage on Wednesday.