19-2 • 7-1 ACC
14-6 • 5-4 ACC
January 24, 2013
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Fresh off a last second win at Wake Forest, the University of Miami women's basketball team was looking for similar last-second heroics against North Carolina on Sunday at the Bank United Center. But it was the Tar Heels who hit their final basket, edging out the Hurricanes 64-62 at the buzzer.
"It was a horrible, disappointing way to lose," said Miami head coach Katie Meier. "We had toughness, energy and effort. The whole game we didn't cut and meet the ball. The whole game, there were so many live ball turnovers. It's one of the worst losses I've ever experienced."
Senior Morgan Stroman had a career day for the Canes, finishing the game with 28 points, besting her previous high of 23 points, and four steals. She also grabbed 13 rebounds, tying her season best, for her sixth double-double of the season.
"I just wanted to go out and play a good game," said Stroman.
North Carolina struck first in the opening seconds of the game with a layup by Xylina McDaniel. Krystal Saunders (seven points, two rebounds) answered for Miami with a three-pointer with 45 seconds elapsed in the first half.
The UNC defense was able to stifle the Canes in the first half, holding Miami without a basket for nearly four minutes.
Shawnice "Pepper" Wilson (seven points, 10 rebounds, four assists) hit a jumper to give Miami some momentum, and two free throws by Stefanie Yderstrom cut UNC's lead to two with 13:10 remaining in the first.
Yderstrom went 0-of-11 from the field in the first half, and finished the game with six points and three rebounds.
"We need a better game from Stef and she knows that," said Meier. "It was a decision making factor that attributed to her poor shooting tonight."
Two points was as close as the Canes would come in the first half, shooting only 21 percent from the field and falling behind by as many as 11 points. But Miami fought back to within six. The Tar Heels led 33-27 going into the half. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt led UNC with nine points in the first, and finished with 19 on the night.
Stroman scored Miami's final nine points of the first half, and led off the second with the first four points for the Canes.
The Canes started the second half with a 10-3 run, pulling to within one with 16:09 remaining. Stroman tied the score at 36 with 15:20 remaining and took the lead for the Canes on a free throw. From there, it became a battle for the lead, with Stroman and Yderstrom each taking turns to tie the score for the Canes in the final five minutes.
Suriya McGuire (eight points, three rebounds, two assists), the source of the last-second game-winning shot against Wake Forest, took the lead for the Hurricanes on a three-pointer with 1:13 remaining in the game.
Yderstrom sank a free throw with 00:39 left to play, and McGuire hit two as well with 00:32 remaining. This gave the Canes a five-point lead, their largest of the night.
But it wasn't meant to be. North Carolina battled back, with Danielle Butts winning it on a buzzer-beating jumper.
"I feel like the last minute we had it. I guess we weren't as composed as we should have been," said Meier. "We've got to learn from it. The back court has to step up, and ball security and free throws are going to be key. We want to respond in a very tough way."Miami next hits the road to take on No. 4 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Thursday, with tip-off at 7 p.m.