TALLAHASSEE -- Coming into Sunday afternoon’s game against rival Florida State, the the University of Miami had an upset on its minds.
It would be a tough task, however — the 24th-ranked Hurricanes had just won once in the past 11 games on the 18th-ranked Seminoles’ home court.
The upset bid lasted all of 30 seconds.
After senior forward Morgan Stroman connected on a jumper to open the scoring, FSU used an 11-4 run to jump ahead and never looked back en route to a 86-65 victory.
“Florida State’s just really, really good,” Miami coach Katie Meier said. “Of all the teams I’ve seen on film this year — and we’ve played a heck of a schedule — but of all the teams I’ve seen on film and [we’ve] played against live, their pace of play is the highest.”
After Miami (12-4, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) closed the gap to 11-10 with 14 minutes left to play in the first half, the Seminoles ripped off another 11-4 run to take control of the game.
While the Seminoles (13-3, 3-2) shot 51.4 percent in the first half, their strong defensive effort held UM to just 31.4 percent shooting, and the Hurricanes went into the locker room trailing 42-29. UM’s leading scorer, senior guard Stefanie Yderstrom, was held to three points in the first half.
“They were putting a lot of pressure on our guards and I ended up a lot on the weakside, I didn’t get as many looks as I usually get,” Yderstrom said. “When they get on a run like they did in the first half, we can’t let that happen, we can’t all of the sudden be down 16 points.”
It was seven minutes into the second half before Yderstrom found her rhythm, connecting on a jumper and then hitting a couple of threes over the next several minutes. But by then it was too late; FSU had jumped out to a commanding lead, and the Hurricanes couldn’t claw their way back into the game.
“That was a great defensive effort by my team,” FSU coach Sue Semrau said. “They really came back from a tough loss and worked hard in practice.”
UM was led by Stroman’s 18 points. Senior center Shawnice Williams added 15, and Yderstrom finished with 11.
Junior Natasha Howard recorded 20 points and nine rebounds, and senior Chelsea Davis had a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds to help the Seminoles dominate in the paint.
In all, four Seminoles reached double-digit scoring, including senior guard Leonor Rodriguez, who led the way with 21 as FSU shot 50.7 percent for the game.
Miami will look for a chance to avenge the loss when FSU visits Coral Gables in a little more than a month.
“Defensively we’ve got a lot to fix,” Meier said. “We’ve got to figure that out.”