ACC Tournament | Florida State 70, UM women 58

UM women fall to FSU in ACC tournament


Special to The Miami Herald

For some unknown reason, the University of Miami’s women’s basketball team deviated from its game plan to repeatedly attack Florida State’s interior defense.

Toward the latter part of the first half, the Hurricanes became more perimeter-oriented, and it cost them dearly in a 70-58 loss in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference women’s tournament on Friday.

UM’s offense ran at close to peak efficiency when the ball went inside to 6-6 center Shawnice Wilson, who scored 18 points and pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds. All-ACC pick Morgan Stroman delivered another double-double with 12 points and 12 boards. Suriya McGuire finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.

In the second half, Miami (21-10) put together several runs, but the Seminoles held their ground to beat UM for the third time this season. Florida State (22-8) will play Duke in the tournament semifinals at 1 p.m. Saturday. The Canes won’t know their postseason fate until the NCAA Tournament and WNIT pairings are announced March 18.

“We didn’t take a different approach in how we guarded [Wilson],” FSU coach Sue Semrau said. “We try to get somebody to play in front of her, and we try to put as much pressure as we can on the passers. Even with all we did, she still came up big.”

The 23rd-ranked Seminoles seized control of the game with a 16-5 run over the final seven minutes of the first half. Alexa Deluzio and Chastity Clayton combined to score 14 points during that stretch as FSU pushed its lead to 33-23 by the end of the half.

“I felt like we lost our composure,” UM coach Katie Meier said. “The tallest people they had on the court during that time were around 5-feet-11. Shawnice is the obvious target for us, and we needed to get the ball to her more often than we did. I can’t say why we resorted to shooting three-pointers. We didn’t play smart. That [Florida State] run didn’t cost us the game, but it sure made it a lot harder for us to make a comeback.”

Miami made its final serious push with less than seven minutes left to play. Wilson scored and hit a free throw to trim the deficit to 48-44. Florida State retaliated with Deluzio doing most of the damage. In the final analysis, the Seminoles offensive diversity was too much for UM to overcome.

Deluzio hit 3 of 6 shots from beyond the arc and finished with 19 points and seven rebounds. Chelsea Davis held her own in the post and contributed 15 points and six boards.

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