The Miami Hurricanes Women’s Basketball team is creating excitement not seen in a generation.
Nineteen years ago, the ‘Canes sandwiched 30 consecutive wins between an opening night overtime loss at FSU and a loss to Vanderbilt in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament. The 2010-11 version has a chance to be just as special.
Sunday, the #16 Hurricanes were tested by #25 Georgia Tech, trailing for much of the game against the larger Yellow Jackets. The ‘Canes’ aggressiveness forced 28 Yellow Jackets’ fouls, resulting in four of the five Georgia Tech starters fouling out. Once the opponent’s size was sitting on the bench, the game was in hand.
The win was the ‘Canes’ 21st straight at home, and pushed UM’s record this season to 20-2.
Games like Sunday’s against Georgia Tech are games the ‘Canes need to win to receive a high seed come tournament time in March.
While the next test is a road matchup with #3 Duke, this team needs and deserves your support, regardless of the outcome on Thursday in Durham.
This time you don’t have to go to a glorified high school gym to see them. Despite the curtains ringing three sides of the BankUnited Center, the games have an electric air about them.
In the opening round of the WNIT Tournament last year the ‘Canes hosted Florida Gulf Coast in front of 636 fans, many of them Eagles fans from across Alligator Alley. The place resembled an echo chamber at times. Last Sunday, 1227 noisy cheering fans were at the BUC. There’s plenty of room for more. At $5 a ticket, it’s by far the best entertainment value in town.
Riquna Williams and Shenise Johnson will be in the UM Sports Hall of Fame someday. Each has surpassed 1000 career points and are #1 and #2 in scoring in the ACC this season. Morgan Stroman has led the ‘Canes in rebounding 10 times this season and has seven double-doubles. Stefanie Yderstrom has connected on 31 three-pointers this season, including twice Sunday in overtime. This success should carry over into next season as there is not one senior on the roster.
While I’m a fan of the big black curtains, photographically speaking, I’d rather they lift them in order to seat more of you. For a little more than the price of a value meal, you can be entertained for two hours and see some Hurricanes student-athletes who will be talked about for generations.
Publications Coordinator Etta Schaller of the Hurricanes Media Relations department has created dozens of computer wallpaper graphics for your downloading pleasure over at Hurricanesports.com. Images include our work from the Coach Golden press conference and men’s & women’s basketball photo day and game action through this season. You may access the wallpaper section of Hurricanesports.com directly by clicking here.
Both the men’s and women’s basketball season openers take place tomorrow at the BankUnited Center. The women tip off at noon and the men at 7:30pm. The women are led by juniors Shenise Johnson and Riquna Williams (below) and the men by sixth year senior Adrian Thomas (above).
The Hurricanes disdain runner-up trophies.
At least that’s how the story goes over the years. A College World Series runner-up trophy held a door open for Jim Morris’ interview at UM before being hired back in 1994. A Fiesta Bowl runner-up trophy held a door open in the SID office back in 2003.
Don’t tell it to Charmaine Clark, who was holding the WNIT runner-up trophy like a teddy bear while touring San Francisco after Saturday’s 73-61 loss to the University of California in the WNIT Championship Game.
Even the 1991-92 team, the greatest team in Miami Women’s Basketball history, who bookended the season with losses around 30 straight wins, didn’t win five straight in the postseason.
The ‘Canes made their run after losing 6 of 7 games at the end of the season, including a “one and done” appearance at the ACC Conference Tournament. This team could have called it a season in the WNIT opener against Florida Gulf Coast, a team with a 24-7 record. Instead they took down the Eagles, then the Gators, Aggies, Friars, and Wolverines.
By the time they arrived in Berekely, they were gassed, having spent time in Chicago awaiting their final destination, then having to travel west and play in about 24 hours time. They shot 13% (2 of 15) from the floor to open the game.
The Hurricanes return with all but two players from this year’s team, and with the experience of having played in do or die games and championship pressure and disappointment. This runner-up trophy is a stepping stone instead of a door-stop.
Miami’s Charmaine Clark tries to block the shot from Ta’Wuana “Tweet” Cook of North Carolina A&T during the ‘Canes 84-77 victory over the Aggies at the BankUnited Center tonight. The ‘Canes advance to play at Providence Sunday at 2pm.
Clark scored 14 points, dished out a game-high seven assists and grabbed six rebounds.
The Hurricanes defeated the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles 70-57 in the first round of the WNIT last night at the BankUnited Center. The ‘Canes advance to the 2nd round and will face the Florida Gators at home Sunday at 2pm.
Charmaine Clark is shown above scoring two of her 13 points, and she added five rebounds for Miami. Shenise Johnson led the ‘Canes with 20 points.
The Hurricanes (17-13) will host their first WNIT game since the 2005-06 season when they take on the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (24-6) tonight at 7 pm at the BankUnited Center in the first ever meeting of the two Florida schools.
For seniors Charmaine Clark and Diane Barnes (above), it’s another chance to play at home.
The winner moves on to face either Florida or South Florida in the second round.
Read the Hurricanes press release here.