Williams leads No. 9 Miami to Alaska title

By Mark Thiessen

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Nov. 24 2011 10:01 p.m. MST

Miami's Shawnice Wilson (40) grabs a rebound with South Florida defenders Caitlin Rowe, left, Akila McDonald, rear, and Jasmine Wynn (1) during their NCAA college basketball championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011, in Anchorage, Alaska

Michael Dinneen, Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Riquna Williams scored 17 points and No. 9 Miami beat South Florida 92-72 in the final of the Great Alaska Shootout on Thursday night.

Shenise Johnson added 11 points and nine rebounds for the Hurricanes (4-1). Sylvia Bullock, a Miami forward playing in her hometown of Anchorage, scored 10 points.

"We definitely came out here for reasons, one of those was to bring Sylvia home," Miami coach Katie Meier said. "We have five opportunities to win championships this year, there's four to go."

Jasmine Wynne led South Florida (4-3) with 21 points. Kaneisha Saunders added 11 points for the Bulls, and Akila McDonald and Andrell Smith had 10 apiece.

Miami led 44-32 at the break, and blew the game open early in the second half.

The Hurricanes went on a 24-7 run during the first 9 minutes to put away the Bulls (4-3).

It's the second straight game Miami has come out strong in the second half.

"The biggest growth has been our team's performance in the second half," Meier said.

Division II Alaska Anchorage had Miami bottled up in the tournament's first game before a similar strong second half run.

Meier attributes it to the Hurricanes' strong bench.

"We're not exhausted at halftime," she said.

South Florida was down 75-46 with 8:30 left, but a scrappy performance by the Bulls made the final score a little more respectable, South Florida coach Jose Fernandez said.

"If a game is out of reach, you need to win a game within a game, and I think we did that," he said. "I was disappointed we gave up as many points as we did. We didn't play defense particularly well here in Alaska."

Central Michigan beat Alaska Anchorage 90-84 in overtime in the third-place game.

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