The University of Miami women’s basketball team, determined to “flush the Rutgers loss down the toilet” after shooting an uncharacteristic 19 percent in that game, rolled over North Carolina State 79-53 in their Atlantic Coast Conference opener at BankUnited Center on Thursday night.
Against Rutgers, UM scored a total of 34 points. Against the Wolfpack, it had 45 by halftime.
Senior guard Stefanie Yderstrom led UM with 21 points and four assists. Michelle Woods added 15, Morgan Stroman had 14, and Shawnice “Pepper’’ Wilson and Keyona Hayes scored 10 apiece. Wilson also grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.
“I’m so proud of how our team responded,” Wilson said. “When you lose like that, you have a lot of fire and have to take it out on someone.”
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The Wolfpack paid the price.
N.C. State was held to 1-of-21 shooting from three-point range and 27 percent shooting overall. Marissa Kastanek, a preseason all-conference selection, was held scoreless (0 for 8).
“This was a very, very satisfying win,” said UM coach Katie Meier, whose team dropped out of the Top 25 after the Rutgers loss. “We haven’t been happy for a couple days. Had some grinding to do, some stuff to prove. We had to emerge from the malaise. ... When we’re confident, we beat people. N.C. State is a good team, and I didn’t expect this outcome.”
Meier gave her team an earful — and then some — at the start of its Tuesday practice. She didn’t feel the Canes were fired up enough after the way they lost.
“I’m not proud of a couple of things I said to my team,” she said.
Yderstrom, sitting beside the coach, jumped in and said: “We deserved it.”
Meier went on. “It’s not anything personal, but I know I was grinding from the buzzer until the next time I saw them, and we didn’t start off our first practice anywhere near the way I expected a Miami team that just lost a game like that. I was expecting the most physical, rough, tough energetic team, and they were looking at me like they were a little sad and that wasn’t going to fly. So, the bear came out of hibernation.”
That’s when the seniors stepped in.
“I was still foaming at the mouth, they were like OK, and they ran the next drill, took care of me,” Meier said.
The Canes took control early Thursday, jumping to a 16-5 lead on 86 percent shooting. They hit six of their first seven shots and never looked back. By halftime, they had pulled ahead 45-21 with 52 percent shooting and a 26-8 edge in the paint.
UM led by 38 five minutes into the second half. When the night was done, four of the Wolfpack’s starters had combined to go 1 for 29.
“We love Melissa Kastanek, she’s a great player, and for her to go scoreless in this game is a big deal. ... That’s an all-conference player right there,” Meier said.