Canes return home after two blowout losses

The Hurricanes women’s basketball season has reached its midpoint. There is certainly a different look to the 2012 squad, as superstar guards Shenise Johnson and Riquna Williams graduated last May and were drafted in the first round of the WNBA draft.

However, coach Katie Meier’s club has not only remained competitive, but has actually been quite successful.

The Canes currently sit at 12-4 on the season, including a 3-2 record in ACC play. The team has been in the top 25 a few different times, but is currently unranked, yet receiving votes after losing its last two games.

Those defeats both came on the road by 20-plus points against ranked foes. Miami fell to No. 10 Maryland and followed that up with a loss to then-No. 18 Florida State three days later.

Before the two-game losing streak, UM had won 10 of its last 11 games. That included a 3-0 start in ACC play, as the Canes knocked off North Carolina State, Clemson and Virginia, all at the BankUnited Center. The first two of those wins were by 20-plus.

The highlight of the season so far was a victory against Penn State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Nov. 29. The Lions came to the BUC ranked No. 6 in the nation, but fell 69-65 for the team’s first loss of the season. PSU is currently 13-2 and ranked No. 8 in both polls.

The win over the Lions came just 11 days after Miami hosted Tennessee, arguably the most prestigious program in the sport. UM lost 79-67 after a valiant comeback attempt fell short, snapping a 41-game home winning streak.

Miami is currently in a three-way tie with Florida State and Virginia for fourth place in the ACC and has a few big games remaining. That includes a pair of contests against No. 4 Duke, the only undefeated team in the country. The home game against the Blue Devils will be on Feb. 28 and is Miami’s last game at the BUC this season.

Miami looks to be the fifth best team in the ACC, but with those games against Duke, UNC and FSU, the squad will have ample opportunity to improve its standing.

From an individual standpoint, seniors Stefanie Yderstrom and Morgan Stroman have emerged as the team’s go-to players. Yderstrom, a 5-foot-8-inch guard, leads the team in points (13.3) and assists (2.6) per game.

The Canes return to the BankUnited Center on Thursday to take on Georgia Tech beginning at 7:05 p.m.