With the Miami Hurricanes’ Atlantic Coast Conference schedule heating up, women’s basketball coach Katie Meier is relying even more on Stefanie Yderstrom, her senior guard who passed 1,000 points for her career on Thursday night.
Yderstrom’s role has changed from last season, when she was mostly a spot-up three-point shooter, waiting for two of the nation’s most dynamic guards — Shenise Johnson and Riquna Williams — to draw defenders and dish the ball.
Now, Yderstrom is the primary scoring threat for the Canes (11-2 overall, 2-0 ACC).
“I’ve got to work more, come off screens,” Yderstrom said when asked what she had to do to get a shot this season. “I can’t just catch and shoot. But it’s fun. It’s more challenging.”
Yderstrom has responded to the challenge, increasing her scoring average from 10.6 to a team-high 13.2. And while her field-goal percentage has dropped from 37.8 to 34.4 percent, her three-point shooting percentage has impressively increased (34.9 to 38.1).
Meier said Yderstrom had to be patient at the beginning of the season as she made the adjustment.
“It’s a completely different game for her,” Meier said. “She doesn’t have the slashers who are drawing all the attention. Stef has the ball a lot more now.”
Meier and Yderstrom watch film together and talk about where the senior is most comfortable on the court.
But the coach said Yderstrom is capable of breaking a defense down.
“She is a much better one-on-one player than she has been able to show because she hasn’t had to [previously],” Meier said. “She is getting in the lane a lot more off the dribble now.”
One concern is Miami’s brutal ACC schedule, which includes six games against Top 25 teams.
“When I first got to Miami, the ACC schedule was 12 games,” Meier said. “Now it’s 18 games. It’s overwhelming, but I really like our team.
“We don’t have a single selfish player.”
The Barry men’s basketball team (6-3) has won three games in a row, including the past two in overtime. One of the Bucs’ heroes has been 5-10 senior guard Justin McCoy, who beat St. Martin’s with a three-pointer that banked in off the glass at the buzzer in overtime.
McCoy also hit a three-pointer with 0.5 seconds left to send the Dec. 19 game to OT. A native of Columbia, Md., McCoy had never previously hit a game-winning buzzer-beater in college, even though Barry is his fourth school.
He started at the Division I level at West Virginia but transferred before playing a game. He then played for Seton Hill and St. Petersburg. His father, Jason McCoy, still stands as the career leader in points and assists at Morgan State.
Junior forward Dannisha Pierce was honored this week after she became the sixth player in the history of the women’s basketball program to surpass 1,000 points for her career. The Bobcats finished the nonconference portion of their season with a 12-2 record, and Pierce led the team with a 16.2 scoring average.
The Bobcats’ men’s basketball team (12-3) is ranked 18th nationally in the NAIA and returns to action Saturday against visiting Webber. The Bobcats’ last game was a 54-52 win over Talladega that was settled by a Kevin Hincapie jumper with 0.7 seconds left.