Colleges

New Year’s resolutions for South Florida colleges and fans

 
 

 FIU guard Jerica Coley tries to avoid a pile up of Florida players on the floor as she dribbles during second-half WNIT action at the U.S. Century Bank Arena in Miami on March 21, 2013.
FIU guard Jerica Coley tries to avoid a pile up of Florida players on the floor as she dribbles during second-half WNIT action at the U.S. Century Bank Arena in Miami on March 21, 2013.
Emily Michot / Miami Herald Staff

Special to the Miami Herald

Here are some New Year’s resolutions regarding local college teams:

• FIU fans should resolve to watch women’s basketball star Jerica Coley play the final nine home dates of her college career, starting with Sunday’s 2 p.m. date with Palm Beach Atlantic.

Last Sunday, Coley set the school record with a 47-point effort, and she did it against a quality opponent, Wake Forest of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Coley played all 40 minutes against a defense that was no doubt geared toward stopping her and yet was remarkably efficient, making 16 of 29 shots from the floor, 2 of 5 from three-point range and 13 of 14 from the foul line. She also had five assists and just two turnovers.

A 5-8 senior guard, Coley is a two-time Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year. She also led the nation in scoring last season (26.3) and ranks second this season (28.5). She is the reigning Conference USA Player of the Week and the league’s preseason Player of the Year.

• Miami’s women’s basketball team should resolve to improve its shooting. The Canes rank last in the ACC in foul shooting (62.3 percent) and 13th of 15 in field-goal percentage (40.7). They are 10th in three-point percentage (32.8).

Unlike past years, when the Canes had standout perimeter shooters, such as Riquna Williams, Shenise Johnson and Stefanie Yderstrom, this team lacks a true go-to scorer.

Senior guard Krystal Saunders, a former star at South Broward High, was supposed to be that player. But she is shooting a career-low 27.9 percent and was scoreless in 34 minutes in Miami’s most-recent game, a 67-66 loss to Penn.

Perhaps freshman guard Adrienne Motley, who has 35 points in her past two games, has emerged.

Or maybe the Canes hit on something in the second half against Penn, when they overcame a 14-point deficit by avoiding three-point tries and instead slashing to the basket, using the athleticism of players such as Motley, Caprice Dennis and Suriya McGuire.

• The Nova Southeastern women’s basketball team (9-0) should resolve to win its first national title. It’s easier said than done, of course, but the Sharks, ranked fourth in the nation in Division II, have the roster to get this done.

With a win at Eckerd on Saturday, they will set a school record for consecutive wins. Nova has beaten all but one opponent this season by at least 18 points.

BARRY

The men’s basketball team (9-0) has a big game Saturday at Florida Southern (12-0), the nation’s fourth-ranked team in Division II. Unranked Barry is coming off a win over No. 13 Livingstone. That was Barry’s first win over a ranked team since 2010.

Meanwhile, women’s basketball standout Tyler Hardy, a senior guard averaging 20.0 points, leads all scorers in the Sunshine State Conference.

ST. THOMAS

The women’s basketball team set a school record Monday by scoring 116 points in a win over Olivet Nazarene. St. Thomas senior forward Jasmin Sakers, who is from American High, also set a school record in that game with 36 points. St. Thomas’ men’s basketball team (9-3) is ranked 19th in the NAIA.

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