CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Riquna Williams scored 18 points to lead Miami (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today, No. 12 AP) to an 89-49 win over Holy Cross in the first round of the Miami Holiday Classic on Wednesday night.
In their first game since a 25-point loss at Georgetown (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP) on Dec. 21, the Hurricanes broke the game open with an 18-2 run midway through the first half. Stefanie Yderstrom's second of two 3-pointers capped the spurt and gave Miami a 36-17 lead with 3:47 remaining.During the run, Miami held Holy Cross without a field goal for 8:39 until Brisje Malone's jumper with 3:13 left in the half."My team answered the call," Miami coach Katie Meier said. "We're fixers and you'll notice the record here, we fix it right away. To wait seven days and not being able to fix it right away was frustrating for us."Yderstrom and Shenise Johnson each finished with 17 points for the Hurricanes (10-2). Johnson also had 10 rebounds and seven assists, and extended her consecutive games double-figure scoring streak to 83."None of us had fun in D.C, we didn't smile, we didn't talk, we didn't communicate," Johnson said. "Tonight, it was a different spirit out there."Alex Smith scored 11 points to lead the Crusaders (6-6).Williams' third 3-pointer of the first half with 37 seconds remaining gave the Hurricanes a 47-22 lead at halftime, surpassing Miami's point total in the 71-46 loss against the Hoyas.Miami outscored Holy Cross 20-6 in the first 6:02 of the second half and built a 67-28 lead. Sylvia Bullock's layup with 9:40 remaining gave the Hurricanes their first 40-point lead at 73-32.The Crusaders stayed within striking distance of Miami in the first eight minutes of the first half. Smith's 3-pointer with 11:52 remaining kept Holy Cross within a three-point deficit at 18-15 before the Hurricanes went on their game-deciding run.The Hurricanes won their 31st consecutive home game and will face Virginia Commonwealth on Thursday for the tournament championship. The Rams advanced to the final with a 73-52 win over Morgan State earlier Wednesday.