Shenise Johnson leads No. 8 Miami to rout of Boston College
BOSTON -- Miami coach Katie Meier knows how lucky she is to have a pair of talented players like Shenise Johnson and Riquna Williams.
Johnson scored 16 of her 22 points in the opening half to lead the Hurricanes (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) to their eighth straight win, an 88-57 rout of Boston College on Sunday.
Williams had 15 of her 18 in the opening 20 minutes, and moved to six points away from joining Johnson as the fifth in school history with 2,000 points.
The high scoring pair of seniors dominated during stretches early in the game, but it was their leadership skills and rebounding that had Meier especially happy afterward.
"I'm blessed. I know it," she said. "Tonight they wanted to hit the boards early. I could even hear them saying, 'Hit the boards guys. Hit the boards.' They're teaching and they're mentoring."
And they're helping carry the Hurricanes on a solid run.
Miami (19-3, 8-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) never trailed and pulled to a double digit lead on Williams' basket in the lane 5:44 into the game. The advantage never dropped into single digits the rest of the way.
"It starts on the defensive end," said Williams, who was unsure how many points she needs for 2,000.
"It would be great to achieve something so big," she said after learning how many she's away.
Her coach was smiling next to her.
"We know," joked Meier.
On very likely soon having another member of her exclusive club, Johnson said: "I think it's just going to be a result of our hard work."
Stefanie Yderstrom added 15 points for Miami, which hasn't lost since dropping its conference opener at North Carolina on Jan. 2.
Tessah Holt paced Boston College (5-16, 0-8) with 12 points. The Eagles have lost eight straight.
"They trigger their offense from their defense, from transition baskets," BC coach Sylvia Crawley said. "We talked about, 'Even if we have to eat the ball don't turn it over.' "
The Eagles shot just 36 percent in the game (18 of 50) and many times had trouble getting off decent shots. They had 20 turnovers that led to 29 points.
Williams also grabbed eight rebounds. Johnson, who had a team-leading nine boards, became the fourth to reach the 2,000-point mark earlier this season.
Miami missed its first two shots from the floor before its superior tandem of Johnson and Williams combined with its pressure defense to take charge.
Johnson missed the first shot of the game -- a short jumper in the lane -- but hit six of her next eight during the first half. She scored eight of her team's initial 16 points as the Hurricanes pulled to a 13-point lead on her 3-pointer.
After Johnson's offensive surge, Williams dominated, scoring 11 straight Miami points and 13 of 16 as the Hurricanes pushed their lead to 27-11 midway into the half.
Johnson's two free throws gave the Hurricanes a 41-16 edge, their largest lead in the opening half.
Miami, which forced 15 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes, led 48-27 at intermission.
The Hurricanes pushed their lead over 30 points (61-29) on Williams' basket early into the second half. They came out after intermission and scored 13 of the initial 15 points, making sure the Eagles wouldn't give them any threat.
Williams came down awkwardly after a basket late in the first half and walked to the bench gingerly, but she started the second half and wasn't affected by the fall.
The Hurricanes entered the game leading the conference averaging 14.3 steals per game. They finished with seven.
2022-23 Atlantic Coast Conference Standings