Canes roll past Rattlers, win fourth straight

Youth is served.

The University of Miami women’s basketball team stayed on a roll as it defeated Florida A&M 83-69 on Monday night at the BankUnited Center.

It marked the fourth straight victory for the Hurricanes (5-2).

Sophomore guard Vitalija Vasciunaite scored a career-high 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Four of her field goals came from behind the arc. Two days earlier, she tied her then career-high of 14 points against Santa Clara (1-7).

Senior guard LaToya Cunningham added another 15 points for the Canes and found success from long range with a career-high five 3-pointers.

In total, three Miami players reached double digits, including sophomore forward Diane Barnes, who notched 15. She also controlled the paint by recording four rebounds, three of which came on the offensive end.

Freshman forward Shenise Johnson, the reigning ACC Rookie of the Week, was limited due to foul trouble, but still recorded eight points, four assists and a team-high two steals.

The 83 points scored by the Hurricanes was the second-highest output on the season behind the 91 against Norfolk State (0-4) a few weeks earlier. Thirty-three points were scored by bench players and 34 were recorded in the paint. Their 24 assists were a season-best as well.

Junior forward Charmaine Clark dished out a career-high 10 assists to give her 33 after only seven games. She has already surpassed her season-high total of 32, which came during her freshman year.

Early on, the Canes jumped out to a 10-0 lead and extended it to 19 late in the second half with Vasciunaite’s final jump shot of the night.

Florida A&M’s (3-2) leading scorer was junior guard Deidra Jones with 21 points. With 5:38 left in the first half, she nailed a jumper that pulled the Rattlers to within one. Vasciunaite, however, answered with eight points during that span.

Both teams combined to turn the ball over only 26 times, but the Canes scored 17 points off Rattler mistakes.

Miami hosts Indiana (4-2) at 7 p.m. Friday night as part of the second annual ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge.