Friday, November 30, 2007


What happens when the #1 team in the Big Ten meets the #1 team in the ACC? The answer's simple . . . a 24-point rout by the ACC's Maryland Terrapins of the Big Ten's Ohio State Buckeyes (final score 77-53) in the premier match-up of the 2007 (inaugural) Big Ten/ACC Conference Challenge.

In this corner, representing the ACC, the 2006 National Champion Maryland Terrapins.

10,255 fans in Comcast (and many more at home tuning in to ESPNU) watched as the Terps dominated the Buckeyes from tip to buzzer. Ohio State never led and the Terps were never threatened. Marissa Coleman drew the assignment of defending Marscilla Packer, OSU's leading scorer and Wade Trophy candidate. Packer came in averaging almost 18 ppg. Tonight, however, at the end of 20 minutes, Packer was scoreless, finally hitting the first of her two baskets of the game in the second half while Marissa was on the bench. Despite working so hard on her defensive assignment, Marissa also managed to score 14 points for the Terps. She was one of three Maryland players in double figures. Crystal Langhorne led all scorers with 17 and Laura Harper had 13. Correction, make that four . . . Kristi Toliver dished out 11 assists (along with scoring 9 points), also putting her in double figures! And though Marah Strickland didn't hit double figures, the BasketCases want to give her a special shout-out. Marah had another outstanding game tonight (8 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists). It wouldn't have been easy for anyone, no less a freshman, to step into the shoes of the legendary Shay Doron, but Marah has done a terrific job, making us forget at times that she's just a rookie.

As winning coach of tonight's Challenge game -- as well as head coach of the first team in the nation to notch 10 victories this season (in only 21 days!) -- Coach B was in demand for post-game interviews.

Prior to the game, the fans were invited to participate in the World's Largest Baby Shower by bringing toys to donate to Toys for Tots.

The U.S. Marine Corps, which sponsors Toys for Tots, sent a few good men and women to accept the many donations from the Maryland fans.

Photo Credits: DC BasketCases

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Big 10/ACC Challenge: ACC 1, Big Ten 0. Thanks to Maryland's win, Virginia's vanquishing of Wisconsin (84-60), the Hokies beating Minnesota (68-62), and the Seminoles' win over Indiana (85-78), the ACC tonight clinched the inaugural Conference Challenge (making Duke -- which meets Penn State on Sunday -- more or less irrelevant).


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