Williams leads No. 9 Miami women over Ole MissSaturday, Dec 10, 2011
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP)—Riquna Williams wanted to ensure a calm evening for herself and her teammates—and especially coach Katie Meier.
To that end, she scored 17 points to lead No. 9 Miami past Mississippi 76-48 Saturday night.
“It’s been a long week with finals and basketball,” Williams said. “I know that normally when Coach is yelling she’s not enjoying the game. We just wanted to make sure she was smiling.”
The Hurricanes secured the win on an 11-0 run during a 2:08 stretch midway through the second half. Williams’ jumper with 6:59 remaining ended the spurt and gave Miami a 58-42 lead.
Williams hit two 3-pointers and scored on a three-point play as the Hurricanes withstood a comeback in the opening minutes of the second half. Williams’ second 3-pointer with 9:43 remaining increased the Miami lead to 47-40.
“We were flat coming out in the second half,” Miami coach Katie Meier said. “Our second wave, our reinforcements, didn’t score but went in with some energy and wore the other team down.
Pepper Wilson scored 15 points and Morgan Stroman finished with 14 points and eight rebounds for the Hurricanes (8-1).
“To be honest I wasn’t feeling it tonight because of the pressures of the week,” Williams said. “I just went out and did it.”
The win was Miami’s 29th straight at home and snapped a Mississippi’s five-game winning streak.
Nikki Byrd scored 10 points to lead the Rebels (6-2).
“I think we played very well for about 30 minutes against a very good Miami basketball team,” Mississippi coach Renee Ladner said. “We changed defenses at halftime and that helped us a little bit and just when we thought we figured it out, Riquna Williams stood up and ignited (Miami).”
“Their game plan is to pick you up full court and beat you the last 10 minutes.”
The Rebels rallied from a 34-22 halftime deficit and outscored the Hurricanes, 11-1 in the first 6:20 of the second half. Whitney Hameth keyed the run with six points.
Shenise Johnson scored 11 points for Miami.
Byrd, the Rebels’ leading scorer, sat out 14 minutes of the first half with foul trouble and played only 18 minutes.
“Had that not happened, we would have been in a dogfight the entire game,” Meier said. “But it was partially our scouting. We wanted to go at her and get her in foul trouble.”