Day-Wilson leads the way against her former team as the Canes sink the Blue Devils, 64-58

Junior guard Shayeann Day-Wilson blowing past DePaul guard Michelle Sidor in Miami’s 75-70 victory at the Watsco Center on December 8th. Photo credit: Sophie Pallman

White-out lights out.

Former Duke Blue Devil and current Miami guard Shayeann Day-Wilson led the Hurricanes to a 64-58 victory in front of a raucous crowd dressed in all white at the Watsco Center Sunday afternoon.

The junior guard finished with 17 points to lead the ‘Canes in scoring. Day-Wilson also led the team in assists with three. This was the fifth game in a row where Day-Wilson has scored in double figures, the third in a row of at least 17 points.

“Honestly, I kind of treated this like any other game,” said Day-Wilson. “Confident, my team had my back and it was a really special win for us. They are my former teammates but it’s love always, it’s the game of basketball. After the game, we were friends and were cool but when it’s in the ballgame it’s business.”

The Canadian guard spent two seasons at Duke before transferring to Coral Gables this past summer. Day-Wilson led the impressive Miami shooting performance from three-point land. Miami shot a remarkable 42% from beyond the arc. The ‘Canes got big shots from junior guards Ja’Leah Williams and Jasmyne Roberts, who finished with 16 and nine, respectively.

The aggressive Miami defense stifled the Duke offense as the Hurricanes forced six first-quarter turnovers by the Blue Devils. Miami was able to carry the lead they created with their points off turnovers into halftime, where they led 33-23. The ‘Canes held their sizable lead for almost the entire second half. A few key defensive plays down the stretch sealed the win for Miami.

“Jaida (Patrick) and Z (Lazaria Spearman) I thought were just battling, really battling in the paint,” said coach Katie Meier. “[Duke] were trying to post up our guards and so it was the Jaida’s and the Jaz’s and the Z’s and the Kyla’s that were helping the guards as they were fighting. We said your teammates are going to help you, and when they went after Shay, we said your teammates have your back.”

A furious rally by the Blue Devils forced Miami to tighten up towards the end of the game. With a full-court press and consistent shot-making in the fourth, Duke was able to come within one possession of the ‘Canes.

Miami did a solid job of holding Duke’s leading scorer, junior guard Reigan Richardson, to just 10 points on 3-10 shooting. Freshman Oluchi Okananwa provided a spark off the bench for the Blue Devils as she led Duke with 13 points. Duke head coach Kara Lawson spoke very highly of Okananwa.

“Oluchi changes the game for us and she has done it all year,” said coach Lawson. “One of the best scorers off the bench in the league. Certainly one of the best rebounders, especially on our team. She does everything with great efficiency and she also does a tremendous job of igniting the energy, it feels like she’s everywhere. It’s really helped our group to have a player like that who can change the game.”

Despite a late comeback by the Blue Devils, the ‘Canes escaped with the upset win, their first win against Duke since 2019. This was a massive game for Miami as they were coming off a loss to 20th-ranked UNC. With this win, the Hurricanes are 3-5 in the ACC and 13-6 overall.

On the first of the month, the ‘Canes pack their bags and head to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to take on the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest. Tip-off for that ACC matchup is set for 2:00 P.M.

All stats and data via ESPN or StatBroadcast unless otherwise noted.