Duke transfer Shayeann Day-Wilson leads UM women to 64-58 win against her former team

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Shayeann Day-Wilson, who transferred from Duke to the University of Miami last summer, played against her former team for the first time Sunday afternoon at the Watsco Center and made the most of the occasion.

The 5-6 junior guard from Toronto played a critical role in Miami’s 64-58 win over the Blue Devils, leading the Hurricanes with 17 points despite spending some time on the bench with three fouls.

Day-Wilson, who goes by “Shy”, made five three-pointers, displaying the shooting prowess that earned her ACC Freshman of the Year with Duke in 2021-22. She also had three assists. She had two turnovers in the closing minutes that she would surely like to forget, but when the game ended, she saved the ball and carried it off the court.

She hugged Duke coach Kara Lawson and several former teammates as she went through the post-game handshakes.

“It was emotional, I mean, they’re my former teammates,” Day-Wilson said. “It’s always love in the game of basketball. It’s just being a competitor. When I saw them in a different jersey, it’s like, `Yeah, I have love for you guys, but now you’re my competition, so I’m going after you. After the game, we’re friends and we’re cool. But when it was in the ballgame, it’s just business.”

Lawson said Day-Wilson’s threes were a big difference in the game.

UM guard Jaida Patrick, who played two seasons at Duke before transferring to Columbia and then Miami, also had a big night against her former team. She scored seven points, had four rebounds, three steals and two blocks, including one on a three-pointer late in the game that kept Duke at bay.

“There was a lot of pressure on Shy, I’m sure, she’s going to say, `No,’ Jaida also had it, and I played at Duke, there was a little bit of emotion there,” said UM coach Katie Meier, who played at Duke from 1986 to 1990 and whose name is still in the records books there. “But Shy is a gamer in big moments.”

UM co-captain Ja’Leah Williams also was singled out by Meier after contributing 16 points, including a pair of clutch free throws with 16 seconds to go after the Blue Devils had closed Miami’s second-half lead from 14 points to three with under a minute to go.

“We were so much better than we were two weeks ago, and that’s where these two (Williams and Day-Wilson) were so special,” Meier said. “Special players made special plays on both ends. These two were controlling the game.”

Williams said in a courtside interview that the team had Day-Wilson in mind all afternoon. “It was all about Shy,” she said. “We wanted them to know they lost a special player.” Keeping track of the game from Spain were former UM players Destiny Harden and Lolo Pendande, who are playing pro there and called the Hurricanes to congratulate them.

Williams later added: “You want the team to know they lost a good player and I really felt for Shy with that. I knew Shy was going to be that player today and I made sure that me and the team had her back, like in the movie `Swagger,’ We made sure we gave her the ball and let them know, `You lost a good player and she’s amazing.’’’

Day-Wilson averaged 10.2 points and 3.1 assists as a Blue Devil and is putting up similar numbers as a Hurricane with 10.6 points and 3.6 assists per game. Her shooting from distance has improved. She had 31 three-pointers last season and already has 30 so far this season.

Day-Wilson was coming off a huge game at 20th-ranked North Carolina, draining five three-pointers while scoring 18 points as the Hurricanes nearly overcame a 19-point deficit before settling for a five-point loss.

The Hurricanes improved their home record to 11-1.

UM (13-6, 3-5 ACC) hits the road for a Thursday game against Wake Forest. Duke, which was led by Oluchi Okananwa’s 13 points, dropped to 13-7, 5-4 ACC.