Williams, suspended for an unspecified team violation, didn’t make the trip to Spokane, but head coach Katie Meier refused to refer to it as adversity.
“We don’t have any real adversity,” said Meier, after the win. “We have opportunity right now.”
Shenise Johnson stepped up in Williams’ absence, scoring twenty. It also helped mark a career night for Johnson as her big night put her over 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 500 assists and 400 steals in her college career (joining Nancy Leiberman as on the only other Division-I player in history to do so.) Sylvia Bullock added eleven for Miami, while Shawnice Wilson added nine, with fourteen rebounds.
Miami, known for an explosive offense, got the job done defensively against Idaho State, holding the Bengals to a season-low sixteen points in the first half and 25 percent shooting in the game.
Next up for third-seeded Miami, a showdown with eleventh-seeded Gonzaga on Monday night, with the winner reaching the Sweet Sixteen. Gonzaga beat sixth-seeded Rutgers, 86-73, in the opening round, setting up the Monday night match-up against Miami.
TV action tips off 9:40pm ET on ESPN2, forty minutes after the men’s squad tips off against Minnesota in the second round of the NIT at The BUC, and televised on ESPN.