Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fill 'er Up. The Terps opened the regular season on November 9th with a win over the Ivy League's Princeton. Tonight -- 18 days later -- they recorded their 9th victory of the young season with a win at Comcast over the Big East's Pitt Panthers, 90-77.

In those 18 days, the Terps have beaten the #4 team (LSU), the #6 team (Oklahoma), and the #23 team (Notre Dame). Tonight's opponent, Pitt, opened their season ranked #20. The Terps have played on national television twice. They've traveled cross-country during the Thanksgiving holiday rush (perhaps their greatest feat of all!). They've played a couple of games in California with their head coach back East following the action on TV or the web. They've played games with a couple of starters fighting the flu. They spotted an opponent 16 points with under 7 minutes to play and still pulled out the win. They've played and beaten teams from the SEC, the Pac-10, the Big XII, the Big East, the Big Gulp and some other conferences, and, after this brutal and thoroughly exhausting schedule, they are still undefeated. Give them a day to refuel between games, and despite the obvious fatigue, they've found a way to get the job done. The Terps' early season performance has been nothing short of amazing.

This schedule even makes bloggers tired. But before we call it a night, a few highlights to mention . . . Laura Harper recorded her 1,000th career point as she led the Terps with 21 points (again missing the double-double by only a single rebound, 9). Congratulations to Harp! Three other starters (the usual suspects) also finished in double figures (Kristi had 20, Marissa 16 and Crystal made it clear she's baaack with her first double-double of the new season, 15 points & 13 boards). This was another game with lots of fouling and lots of free throws. Maryland's exceptional performance from the free throw line -- the team hit 30 of 36 attempts -- helped the Terps maintain a comfortable cushion over the Panthers from the opening tip to the final buzzer.

But in case you think the worst is over . . . it ain't [intentional grammar malfunction]. In the next six days, the Terps defend the honor of the ACC (more on that in an upcoming blog) against the Big 10 defending champ, #17 Ohio State (Friday at Comcast), and in another nationally-televised game, they meet last season's national runner-up, the Big East's # 5 Rutgers in the Jimmy V Classic on Monday in New Jersey. Amazing.

Remember . . . Bring a toy to Comcast on Friday (the "World's Biggest Baby Shower") to donate to Toys-for-Tots. Between now and then . . . try to get some rest!


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