CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP)—A 20-hour trip from Alaska failed to affect No. 9 Miami.
Still shaking off jet-lag from their return home early Saturday morning, the Hurricanes wore down Longwood in a 92-43 rout Sunday afternoon.
Shenise Johnson scored 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting and had six assists to lead the Hurricanes (5-1). Morgan Stroman finished with 20 points, shooting 8 of 10 from the field.
“We handled a very difficult travel situation, getting home at 1:30 in the morning and having practice later,” Miami coach Katie Meier said. “Flying through the night, grabbing a nap wherever you could, I’m really in awe of the maturity of this team. I’m really proud of them for how they handled it.”
The Hurricanes, who defeated Alaska Anchorage and South Florida in the Great Alaska Shootout Nov. 23 and 24, dealt with a return flight to Coral Gables that was plagued by delays before takeoff and subsequent flight connections.
“It was chaotic, we were on the plane for two hours figuring out when we were going to leave,” Johnson said. “I thought we did a great job of not complaining. Coach did a great job of keeping us calm. We were going to get home at some point.”
Longwood (1-5) could not capitalize.
The Hurricanes kept the Lancers scoreless for a 7:54 stretch of the first half and built a 48-22 lead with 2:01 remaining. Stroman scored six consecutive points on fast-break layups during the stretch.
“I knew once I had the ball I could beat my defender so I just ran out in front,” Stroman said.
Miami expanded a 50-28 lead at halftime with a 16-4 spurt in the first 5:08 of the second half.
Stroman’s two free throws with 8:34 remaining gave the Hurricanes their first 40-point lead at 76-35.
Miami had 20 steals and forced 28 Longwood turnovers and increased its home winning streak to 27.
“I challenged the team at halftime to get their legs underneath them a little bit on defense,” Meier said. “We had a goal that we wanted to hold Longwood under 40. To regroup at halftime and lock down on a 15-point performance I was very impressed with my team.”
Mina Jovanic scored 12 points to lead the Lancers.
“They were much better than us,” Longwood coach Bill Reinson said. “We couldn’t stop them in transition. We didn’t quit and fought down to the end. We continued to make plays. I feel we can build from this game.”
The Hurricanes enjoyed a 17-2 run early in the first half. Krystal Saunders’ basket with 13:22 remaining capped the run and gave Miami a 25-8 lead.
Longwood rallied and outscored Miami 14-5 in the next 5:43. Brittani Billups’ layup with 8:39 remaining ended the run and got the Lancers within eight at 30-22.