Canes rally against Eagles, win 76-68 on Senior Day

Through 40 minutes forward Diane Barnes’s final regular season game as a Miami Hurricane was forgettable.

That is until freshman forward Morgan Stroman’s basket with 0.9 seconds left sent the game into overtime as Miami rallied to beat Boston College 76-68 Sunday afternoon at the BankUnited Center in front of a crowd of 737.

Barnes, who went into overtime with just five points, added seven more in five minutes to help the Hurricanes (17-12, 4-10) snap their five-game losing streak.

“I just wanted it more. I wanted to win. I wanted it more than any of the Boston College girls out there,” she said. “I was just trying to get the ball by any means necessary and that was just my motivation.”

The Eagles (15-14, 6-8), who beat the Canes 72-64 in Chestnut Hill on Jan. 31, had won the last seven games in the series.

Sophomore guard Riquna Williams, the second-leading scorer in the Atlantic Coast Conference with 19.3 points a game, finished with a game-high 27 points off the bench.

Her teammate in the backcourt, sophomore guard Shenise Johnson, contributed 17 points and finished the regular season as the only conference player to score double digits in each game. She also recorded her eighth double-double as she pulled down 10 rebounds.

With 2:17 remaining in the game Johnson scored eight of Miami’s final 10 points, five from the foul line, as the Canes erased a nine-point deficit.

“I think that’s just payback for what we’ve been through. A lot of times we’ve made mistakes at the end of the game and a lot of times we did what we were supposed to do and just didn’t get a fortunate break,” head coach Katie Meier said. “So these kids to stay resilient, is unbelievable.”

Initially, things looked easy for the Hurricanes as they held a 13-point lead with 14:40 in the second half.

But Boston College responded with 16 unanswered points four minutes later to capture its first lead, 49-46.

Junior forward Stefanie Murphy scored 19 points, 10 of which came during that span. Junior center Carolyn Swords led the Eagles with 21 points.

Meier put freshman center Hannah Shaw (6-4) into the game to guard Swords and Murphy, whose average height is 6-5.

“I saw it in my team that we weren’t giving up,” senior forward Charmaine Clark said. “If the shots weren’t falling, we’re determined that we’re either going to get a call or we’re going to keep at them until something happens.”

Although the Eagles grabbed five more rebounds than the Canes and shot 40.7 percent from the field, Miami had 17 more attempts on 33.8 percent shooting.

Boston College committed 27 turnovers, and Miami took advantage with 31 points off of them.

After jumping out to an early 18-7 lead, the Hurricanes missed seven straight shots and committed two turnovers in a span of four minutes as the Eagles pulled within one at 20-19. The Canes closed the half with Williams’s eight-point run for an eight-point lead, 33-25.

Twelfth-seeded Miami will play fifth-seeded Wake Forest (17-12, 7-7) at 11 a.m. Thursday in the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina.

The Demon Deacons won the regular-season meeting, 67-64, in Winston Salem, N.C.

“My sophomore year coming in we had nobody. Now we’re winning games and we’ve got people coming out and now you can really feel the college atmosphere,” Barnes said. “I really enjoyed it a lot. Us coming out with that win was even better for me.”