Canes come away with 85-63 win over Nova in exhibition match

The Miami women’s basketball team started its 2012-13 campaign on Monday night with an exhibition game against Nova Southeastern.

The visiting Sharks, featuring three Division I transfers, gave Miami all it could handle for over 30 minutes. However, UM regrouped and took control of the game down the stretch, en route to a 85-63 victory.

“Not to any surprise at all, Nova Southeastern is a great basketball team,” UM Head Coach Katie Meier said after the game. “I think they’re so well-coached. They’re competitive, they fight. They’ve got some real nice additions to the team.”

One of those additions was Amanda Burakoski, a 6-foot junior guard who sat out last season after transferring from St. John’s. The Brooklyn, N.Y. native was the game’s high-scorer, pouring in 20 points on 50 percent shooting from the field. Danielle Robinson, a 5-foot-8 sophomore, was the only other Shark in double figures, finishing with 16 points.

For Miami, Stefanie Yderstrom was tops with 19 points, including 4-8 shooting from beyond the arc. The 5-foot-8 senior guard was a Third Team All-ACC pick last year and a Preseason All-ACC selection this year.

While Yderstrom’s contributions might have been expected, that is not necessarily the case for senior Jessica Capers. The 6-foot-2 forward actually received more playing time than Shawnice “Pepper” Wilson, and all of it was earned. Capers had 10 points, six rebounds and shot 4-5 from the floor.

“She has worked, and she has been into it,” Meier said of Capers, “like she’s really, I think, just really committed in making sure Miami is good.”

Suriya McGuire was the other surprise performer for the ‘Canes. With sophomore guard Michelle Woods scratched due to a pregame eye issue, McGuire started and was very impressive. The sophomore guard had 13 of her 14 points in the first half, and she also added six rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and two steals to her total.

“We have a little thing where it’s like, ‘They haven’t seen anything like you before,’ and I knew that she would kind of burst onto the scene tonight,” Meier said of McGuire’s performance.

With McGuire cooling off in the second half, NSU seized an opportunity to make a run early in the second session. After leading 38-25 at the break, Miami quickly saw its lead evaporate, as the Sharks used a barrage of 3-pointers to get back into the game.

NSU actually came back to even up the score at 49 with 12:35 to go, when senior guard Tailor Jones hit freshman guard Taylor Buie with a great pass on a pretty backdoor cut for an easy layup.

From there, though, it was all Miami. The ‘Canes responded with a 13-0 run to take a 62-49 and never looked back, closing the game with a 36-14 run to get the final score.

“I thought it was great, there was no panic out there and I’m glad,” Meier said. “I have exhaled, just knowing that we’re going to be alright.”

Miami, ranked No. 23 in the Coaches Poll and No. 24 in the AP Poll, opens its regular season slate on Friday. The ‘Canes will take on North Florida at 8:00 p.m. at the BankUnited Center.