No. 8 Miami pounds Louisiana-Monroe in laugher

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Miami reserve Krystal Saunders took a cue from the starting guards and matched their output.

Saunders kept pace with starters Riquna Williams and Shenise Johnson, and all three scored 16 points to lead the Hurricanes (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) past Louisiana-Monroe 103-39 on Friday night.

"We wanted to keep the tempo up and make sure we are playing defense hard," Saunders said. "For our starters to start like that, we just wanted to do the same."

The 16 points was a career best for Saunders, who went 6 of 8 from the field, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range. Through the Hurricanes' first nine games, the sophomore was shooting 27 percent from the field and was just 1 of 19 from beyond the arc.

"My teammates always have had confidence in me," Saunders said. "They told me to keep shooting."

Morgan Stroman added 14 points and Michelle Woods had 13 for the Hurricanes in their 30th straight home win.

"It's fun this year; it's not just (Williams and Johnson)," Miami coach Katie Meier said. "We have a balanced team. The upperclassmen did a fantastic job of taking care of the game early. They made sure that we shared minutes like we did."

Johnson scored eight points, including two 3-pointers, during an opening 22-0 run by Miami (9-1), which was never threatened.

The Warhawks broke the scoring drought on Larrie Williams' jumper 4:53 into the game, but Miami scored the next 11 points and took a 33-2 lead on Jessica Capers' jumper with 9:26 to go in the half.

Williams scored 11 points to lead Louisiana-Monroe (1-10).

The Hurricanes shot 12 of 16 from the field in the first 9 minutes, while the Warhawks converted only one of 13 shots. Miami used mostly reserves over the second 10 minutes of the first half and built a 55-19 lead at halftime.

"There are a lot of people in our second wave that would be starters somewhere else," Meier said. "It's very hard to break into a starting lineup that brought back every starter.

"I've been very blessed that I've had the same starting lineup for 43 games in a row."

Johnson's put-back 3:51 into the second half put the Hurricanes up by 40 -- 64-24 -- and Riquna Williams' layup with 10:34 remaining increased the lead to 79-28.

The Hurricanes also outscored the Warhawks 25-6 in fast break points and forced 30 turnovers.

"They've got so much depth and they play hard," Louisiana-Monroe coach Mona Martin said. "They run the ball so well from point guard to post."

Miami, which surpassed 90 points for the fifth time this season and topped 100 for the second time, outscored Louisiana-Monroe 17-0 in the final 7:18.

"Last year we played Texas A&M and they were ranked 12th at the time," Martin said. "They wound up winning the thing and I thought (Miami) could be a good contender for the national championship if they stay healthy."