|Miami's Shenise Johnson (42) prepares to shoot as Texas-Pan American's Erin Lewis, rear, defends in the first period of an NCAA college basketball game in Coral Gables, Fla., Friday, Nov. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)|
Johnson scores 20, No. 7 Miami beats UTPA 83-37
CORAL GABLES, Fla.—Shenise Johnson finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists, and No. 7 Miami defeated Texas-Pan American 83-37 on Friday for its 25th straight home win -- the longest home streak in program history.
Riquna Williams scored 16 points, while Stefanie Yderstrom and Morgan Stroman added 12 each for the Hurricanes (1-0), who visit No. 3 Tennessee on Tuesday. Miami forced Texas Pan-American (0-1) into 35 turnovers.
LaQuita Garner scored 14 for the Broncs.
Johnson, a returning All-American and a player of the year candidate, was nearly perfect on the day. She shot 6 for 9 from the field, made all eight of her foul shots and controlled pace for the Hurricanes, who had nine players score.
And while it was the beginning of a season with Final Four hopes, Miami's start was more than a little rusty.
Miami was 6 for 26 from the field in the first 16 minutes, a 23-percent clip for a team that shot 43 percent last season. Here's a great example of how cold the Hurricanes were in the opener: There was one possession where four players all missed shots and Miami came away empty, a series that had coach Katie Meier pivoting around and taking a somewhat purposeful walk a few steps down the sideline.
Eventually, the defending Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season co-champions got going, making their final five shots of the opening half. Yderstrom hit a 3-pointer with 1:22 left to push the lead to 33-13, and she converted a nifty reverse layup about a minute later to keep the margin at 20 points going into halftime.
So while Miami couldn't have liked the offensive numbers in the first 20 minutes, the defense made up for at least some of the trouble at the other end. In the first half, Texas-Pan American had 21 shot attempts -- and 20 turnovers, unable to handle Miami's pressure.
In the second half, the offensive surge just kept going. The Hurricanes made seven of their first 13 shots after intermission, capped by a three-point play by Pepper Wilson with 13:14 left that gave Miami a 54-28 lead.
The Broncs played some of the Big 12's toughest teams last season -- Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State -- and lost them all by an average of 50.8 points.
This one didn't seem as though it would turn into one of those blowouts, not the way Texas-Pan American was hanging around for much of the first half. Miami's lead was a relatively manageable 24-13 late in the half, but the Broncs were outscored 59-24 the rest of the way.