Miami beats UAA women at Great Alaska Shootout

Anchorage Daily News / adn.comNovember 23, 2011 

The seventh-ranked women's basketball team in Division I turned out to be a bit too much for Division II UAA on Wednesday.

Hustle and defense kept UAA close early, but the gritty Seawolves eventually fell 72-55 to Miami in the opening round of the Great Alaska Shootout at Sullivan Arena.

"I thought it was a great game for us," Miami coach Katie Meier. "We got better today."

Meier, a co-winner of the national coach-of-the-year award last season, is hoping to improve a Miami team that won an ACC title and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament, and she said UAA gave the Hurricanes a stern test.

"This was a really fun game to coach in," she said.

The victory keeps UAA out of the Shootout's championship game for the first time since 2005, but the win didn't look like it was going to come easy in the first half.

UAA held Miami to 27.6 percent shooting in the first half and clung to a one-point lead in the closing seconds, but Miami's player of the game Shenise Johnson, who finished with a game-high 18 points to go with six steals and five rebounds, didn't let the Seawolves keep the lead. She drilled a pretty 3-pointer from the left wing just before the buzzer to put the Hurricanes in front 28-26 at the break.

"I was definitely thinking about the score" Johnson said. "I did not want to go in down to Anchorage."

Johnson's big shot served as an emotional boost for the Hurricanes and they went into the locker room full of fire. Meier called the halftime meeting fun.

"We just called each other out," she said. "They love to be challenged."

Miami came out of the locker room with a new challenge for UAA: a full court press. The Seawolves, who turned the ball over 10 times in the first half, struggled to advance the ball across half court in the second half and finished with 28 turnovers. The turnovers were the biggest problem, Moser said, but they weren't the only one for UAA.

"There's all sorts of things we need to do a better job of," Moser said. "We're trying to win a national championship."

One goal Moser was pleased to see the Seawolves reach was that of outrebounding their opponent 39-33. Led by 13 rebounds from Kaylie Robison and nine from Hanna Johansson, UAA was tenacious in the paint. The Seawolves pulled in 15 offensive rebounds and often turned the second opportunities into points.

"I thought Kaylie and Hanna both did a great job tonight," Moser said.

Four Seawolves reached double digits in points, with Robison, Johansson, Haley Holmstead and Tijera Mathews each scoring 10. Though the Seawolves showed some brilliance at times, the nerves that come with playing such a talented opponent were evident.

"It's a different kind of basketball," Johansson said. "In the second half it got to us. You get tense."

Reach Jeremy Peters at jpeters@adn.com or 257-4335.

MIAMI (72) -- Stroman 4-7 6-7 14, Bullock 2-4 2-4 6, Williams 4-13 6-6 14, Yderstrom 0-8 0-0 0, Johnson 6-14 3-4 18, Woods 1-4 1-2 4, Saunders 2-6 3-3 7, Capers 0-3 0-0 0, McGuire 0-0 0-0 0, Wilson 1-2 2-2 4, Brown 2-3 1-1 5. Totals 22-64 24-29 72.

UAA (55) -- Robison 4-7 2-4 10, Johansson 3-6 4-4 10, Deichmann 2-9 0-0 4, Holmstead 3-8 4-5 10, Ryder 1-4 1-2 3, Mathews 4-6 1-2 10, King 2-3 0-0 6, Seale 0-0 0-1 0, Horn 1-3 0-1 2, Burns 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 20-50 11-17 55.

Miami 28 44 -- 72

UAA 26 29 -- 55

3-point goals -- Miami 4-22 (Williams 0-3, Yderstrom 0-6, Johnson 3-6, Woods 1-3, Saunders 0-4), UAA 4-9 (Ryder 1-1, Mathews 1-1, King 2-3, Horn 0-2, Burns 0-2). Rebounds -- Miami 33 (Bullock 6), UAA 39 (Robison 13). Total fouls -- Miami 18, UAA 24. Fouled out -- Horn. Assists -- Miami 12 (Williams 4, Johnson 4), UAA 12 (Deichmann 4). Turnovers -- Miami 11 (Williams 3), UAA 28 (Holmstead 7). Blocked shots -- Miami 2 (Stroman 2), UAA 2 Johansson 2). Steals -- Miami 18 (Johnson 6), UAA 3. Officials -- Tracy, Corson, Lujan.

Great Alaska Shootout schedule All games at Sullivan Arena Today's women's games 2 p.m. -- Central Michigan vs. UAA, third-place 4 p.m. -- South Florida vs. Miami, championship Today's men's games First round 6:30 p.m. -- Central Michigan vs. New Mexico St. 8:30 p.m. -- UC Irvine vs. Southern Mississippi

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