RALEIGH, N.C. -- Miami is known for good guard play, but Shawnice Wilson proved that the Hurricanes also have a weapon on the interior.
Wilson set career highs with 17 points and 17 rebounds to help No. 6 Miami beat North Carolina State 73-61 on Thursday night.
Riquna Williams scored 17 of her 24 points in the first half as the Hurricanes (23-3, 12-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) overcame a rare off night by star guard Shenise Johnson.
The 6-foot-6 Wilson, nicknamed "Pepper" as a toddler by her
grandmother, also had two blocked shots.
"My coaches definitely remind me that when I'm on the court I
have the height advantage and strength as well and even quickness,
for the most part," Wilson said. "I just used it to my advantage,
and 17 and 17 was the result."
Stefanie Yderstrom scored 12 points for Miami, which got its
first win at NC State in seven tries.
Johnson, who had scored in double figures in 95 of her previous
96 games, had seven points on 2-of-10 shooting.
"Pepper giving us 17 and 17, if we didn't have that, we would
be sitting here with a loss," Miami coach Katie Meier said. "It
was just awesome for Pepper to rise up and come through with that
performance at such a timely time for us."
Myisha Goodwin-Coleman scored 14 points to lead NC State
(15-12, 4-9), which dropped its fourth consecutive conference game.
Marissa Kastanek added 12 points and Bonae Holston had 10 for the
"I thought our team competed," NC State coach Kellie Harper
said. "I thought we played hard, I thought we played tough, and I
didn't think we backed down to a very good and talented Miami team.
There's a reason they're ranked No. 6 in the country."
Miami shot 54.5 percent in the first half en route to a 44-32
halftime lead and held on for its 12th consecutive victory.
The Wolfpack pulled to 49-43 on Goodwin-Coleman's third
3-pointer in a three-minute span, but they never got closer.
Wilson sandwiched a left-handed bucket in the lane in between a
pair of layups by Williams, and the Hurricanes led 55-43 with 13:54
Williams had been quiet before blowing open a tight game late in
the first half with an impressive array of shots on five
consecutive possessions. She scored 11 straight points in a span of
1:54, turning a three-point Miami lead into a 44-30 advantage.
Williams started with a jumper from the top then delivered a
tough fall-away shot from the left baseline. She banked in an
acrobatic layup for a three-point play in transition before
draining two more jumpers off the dribble.
Meier said she didn't like the shot selection on Williams' last
attempt in the sequence, but she loved the result.
"When she gets in that zone, we just kind of give her space and
get the heck out of her way," Meier said.
Miami raced out to a 20-8 lead in the first six minutes behind a
couple of 3-pointers from Yderstrom.
NC State answered with a 14-2 run to tie the game at 22 on a
3-pointer by Erica Donovan.
Kastanek, NC State's leading scorer, left the game with a
right leg injury with 8:12 remaining and did not return. She fell
to the floor away from the ball and remained down while coach
Kellie Harper and trainers attended to her.
Trainers carried Kastanek to the locker room as she struggled to
put any weight on her right leg. Kastanek returned to the bench
with 5:30 to play, her right ankle heavily wrapped.
The conditions were cool and rainy outside, but the teams and
fans enjoyed Beach Night inside Reynolds Coliseum. NC State's
coaches wore matching Hawaiian shirts, with Harper sporting some
back flip flops. Each member of Miami's coaching staff wore a lei
in either green or orange.