Thursday, January 31, 2008

Just a Minute.

Crystal Langhorne entered tonight's game against the Miami Hurricanes needing only 2 points to become the first female Terp ever to score 2,000 career points, while Kristi Toliver began the game needing only 2 assists to become the fourth Terp with 500 assists. Well, 1 minute (and 3 seconds) later, both Lang and Kristi had added those remarkable achievements to their résumés.

On the game's opening play -- Maryland's first possession -- Kristi dished off to Lang for a quick bucket, and Lang went into the record books. On Maryland's second possession, Kristi found Laura Harper, who finished the play, thus sending Kristi into the record books as well.

With that important business out of the way, the Terps then proceeded to blowout the overmatched Hurricanes (pun intended), 90-50 (thus setting yet another Maryland record . . . for the most home wins in a season, now 16). As the scoring gap widened in the first half, Coach B quickly turned to her bench, playing the reserves for most of the remaining minutes. But the mismatch was even more apparent as Maryland's bench proved to be too much for Miami as well.

While this game lacked that nail-biter excitement of some recent contests, the fans (including the BasketCases) enjoyed watching a big home win. We particularly enjoyed seeing Drey, Kat and Emery (as well as veteran reserves Jade and Ashleigh) get plenty of playing time. . . Among Kat's buckets was one remarkable trey that she shot almost the instant she received the pass. She has one of the quickest releases and prettiest high-arcing shots we've ever seen.

Before the game, Coach B honored Lang, Harp and Marissa for their gold-medal-winning summer of 2007 playing for USA Basketball, and honored Ashleigh Newman for having broken the Terps' record (several games ago and every game since) for most consecutive games played. After the game, Coach B presented Lang with the game ball, in recognition of her amazing 2,000 career points. Coach B was giving out so much memorabilia tonight we had to wonder whether she was thinking this just might be her last game for awhile. As she's repeated several times of late . . . the two newest Terps could make their appearance any time now.

Congratulations to the entire Maryland team for tonight's record-setting home win, and special congratulations to Lang and to KT for once again etching their names into Maryland's record book!

Photo Credit: Baltimore Sun

2 for 2,000.

The Miami Light Breezes Hurricanes are blowing into College Park tonight (7 PM) to face the #5 Maryland Terrapins. Unless Crystal ("All World") Langhorne skips class (a bench-able offense), calls in sick, or pulls a muscle in warm-ups, it's a pretty safe bet that during tonight's game, Lang will score at least 2 points. And when she does, she will hit an amazing career milestone . . . 2,000 points!

We learned from the always informative Terps website that only 15 players in ACC history have hit the 2,000 point mark, and only 5 ACCers have scored 2,000 points and grabbed 1,000 rebounds! In the NCAA era (post AIAW, beginning in 1982 . . . but before Lang was born), only 105 players nationwide have ever recorded these two major stats. It's pretty clear that Lang has assured herself a place in Maryland . . . and ACC . . . and NCAA history (not to mention a banner in Comcast's rafters).

Speaking of 2s (and that is the karmic number for this Maryland season, isn't it?) . . .Kristi Toliver needs only 2 assists tonight to become the fourth Terp ever to dish out 500. . . and she's only a junior!

So get ready tonight for a little history in the making.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Summer Jobs.

According to Oscar Dixon in USA Today, the WNBA and the players' union have a reached a meeting of the minds on a new 6-year Collective Bargaining Agreement. Among other things, the CBA spells out rookie salaries.

So Harp, Lang and (hopefully) Jade now have some idea how much they can plan to spend at the mall this summer. Laura and Crystal should be earning in the range of $41,000 to $44,000 (depending on whether they are drafted in the top 4 or drop to positions 5-8) from their summer jobs. The top-paid players in the league will make $95,000.

The new bargaining agreement raises the WNBA salary cap (to a max this season of $772,000), as well as addresses certain quality-of-life issues and free agency-related issues of concern to the players. Read Dixon's informative article for more details.

In case you're thinking that a salary in the $40s seems pretty low for a couple of basketball players as exceptional as Lang and Harp . . . just remember that the real $$$$ in women's pro ball is made during the "offseason" overseas. In Russia, in Israel (where Shay Doron is currently loving her job), and in other countries, the top players can earn six-figure salaries . . . which means they have a lot more to spend at the mall.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Slip Sliding Away.

Today the Terps played their second double overtime game in less than a week. Only this time, playing on the road at Carolina, they didn't manage to come away with the win, as the deeper bench of the Tar Heels prevailed, 97-86.

Maryland had opportunities to win this one. They battled back from an early double-figure deficit to take the lead late in regulation. But they allowed that lead, as well as another slim lead in the first OT, to slip away.

Shooting a shocking 5-27 from behind the arc, it's somewhat amazing that the Terps had chances to win this one at all. But despite struggling from long-distance, Maryland didn't give up and managed to find other ways to stay in the ball game. A missed shot here, a turnover there, a foul called (or not called) . . . it was no one player or no one play that opened the door twice for the Heels to come from behind. It seemed the Terps needed just a single play or a single break to put UNC away, but each time Maryland came up short. By the 2nd OT, a tired group of Terrapins (playing without Laura Harper and Jade Perry, who both fouled out) fell behind and were unable to mount any real counter-attack to LaToya Pringle, Erlana Larkins, and their Carolina teammates. Just as the Maryland crowd last Sunday helped to will its team to victory in the 2nd OT against Georgia Tech, the Carolina-blue-clad packed-house home crowd in Carmichael Auditorium provided their team with plenty of energy and support down the stretch.

When we mentioned tired players, we weren't kidding . . . Marissa and Kristi each played the full 50 minutes. Each scored 20 points and each finished with a double-double (Marissa pulled down 13 boards and Kristi dished out 14 assists). Crystal (in 44 minutes) led the Terps with 23 points.

We suspect that the Terps are less than pleased with how this one ended. We also suspect that a loss like this will make them work harder so it doesn't happen again, and will leave them itching for a rematch . . . perhaps in March in the final of the ACC tournament.

Extra Credit Reading.

Although the Terps are playing on the road today, the upcoming 1 PM face-off in Chapel Hill between the only teams undefeated in ACC play is so important that even the D.C. and Baltimore papers have published pre-game articles. The Baltimore Sun's Milton Kent has a true preview of the game (plus video interviews of the Terps), focusing on the Tar Heels' deadly pressing and trapping abilities and Maryland's consequent need to slow things down.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post's Kathy Orton and the Washington Times' Mike Fratto divvied up assignments to write about the Terps' incredible front court, giving us feature stories on Harp and Lang, respectively.

Your assignment, of course, is to get all these articles read before 10 AM, at which point the BasketCases expect you to be sitting in front of your TV, watching Under the Shell. And that, of course, is just a warmup for the big event at 1 PM!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Required Reading . . . and Viewing.

In our excitement over Coach B's CBS Early Show appearance, we were remiss in not telling our readers about a real treat from yesterday's Baltimore Sun.

The BasketCases send a belated shout-out to Milton Kent for his excellent feature on two of Maryland's finest ladies, Vicky Bullett and Crystal Langhorne. Not only do you get to read a terrific article, but you can view some not-to-be-missed video interviews with Vicky, Lang and Harp. Great Stuff!

And Kent isn't the only writer to whom we owe a belated shout-out. Also yesterday, David Driver of the Laurel (Md.) Leader provided us with an in depth look at the role of Laurel resident and Terps Assistant Coach Daron Park.

"She liked (Park) right away," the elder [George] Toliver said. So the father asked Kristi why. "Dad, he knows basketball," said the junior star, according to her father.
Coming from Kristi . . . that's high praise indeed!

Now that we're caught up, time to take a look ahead. Of course, we needn't remind you that the battle for supremacy in the ACC takes place tomorrow at 1 PM in Carmichael Auditorium. The Terps, under the interim leadership of Coach Park, take on the only other team undefeated in ACC play, the Tar Heels. This game is being broadcast nationally on FSN and locally on Comcast SportsNet. And, just in case you need reminding . . . Episode 2 of Under the Shell airs at 10 AM tomorrow, also on Comcast SportsNet.

You have your assignments, now start reading (and viewing)!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thank Goodness For Office TVs.

We hope that if you were already at work at 8:40 AM this morning (as we were), and you couldn't find a TV somewhere around your office (fortunately we both found one), you took our advice and recorded the CBS Early Show this morning so that as soon as you arrive home, you can watch Harry Smith's interview of Coach B, Harp and Marissa.

All three were all appropriately dressed in Terps gear and appeared live from the court at Comcast . . . and Coach B and Harp actually seemed to be awake! (Aside to Marissa: "Starbucks.") It was a wonderful piece, and great national exposure for Coach B and the Terps' program. We particularly loved Coach B's promise to be at Comcast for the first two rounds of the NCAA tourney, with the twins!

*Update* If you missed the broadcast this morning and can't wait till you get home, the Early Show has now posted the video on its web site!

And speaking of "Brenda" Broadcasts. . . Two of the BasketCases' favorite TV commentators, Beth Mowins and Debbie Antonelli, have been hosting a "National Women's Basketball Podcast" this season called ShootAround, which you can find here on the web site of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. This week's edition features a long, warm, wonderful, and funny interview with Coach B about her pregnancy and her coaching . . . but also ends with startling news about baby names! This podcast definitely qualifies as a must listen. (The interview begins not quite halfway into the program . . . but these two Pod People are fun to listen to, even if they aren't talking about the Terps.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

This Just In . . .Ready, Set, Record!

Tomorrow morning (Thursday) The Early Show on CBS (probably during the 8 o'clock hour**) is planning to feature an interview with Coach B and the Terps' players.

If, like the BasketCases, something else (such as work) conflicts with this program . . . then set your DVR or TIVO it, so you don't miss so much as a second of this nationally televised broadcast!

**of course, programming like this is always subject to change, so we're starting our recording even earlier than 8 AM, just in case.

Under the Shell, Episode 1 (which was broadcast last Saturday on Comcast SportsNet) will air for the first time tomorrow (Thursday) on CSTV (check your local channel line-up) at 10:30 AM. So if you missed it on Comcast, you have another chance to catch (and record!) a broadcast of this terrific series premiere.

Thank You, Dick Patrick and USA Today, for an absolutely wonderful feature on Coach B . . . who, as we already know, is looking to "deliver twins and a championship."

Read it all . . . you'll really enjoy it!

And as long as you're catching up on your reading, the BasketCases also recommend Mechelle Voepel's refreshingly upbeat article about Kristi Toliver over on

I Have The WNBA Has a Dream. The new Atlanta franchise (heretofore known as the Atlanta fill-in-the-blanks) now has a name . . . the Atlanta Dream! This means that Marynell Meadors, the former Mystics Assistant Coach and now Dream Head Coach, can finally get her new business cards printed. They also have team colors . . . red, white and blue white, blue and red. The official announcement of the new team's name, along with the unveiling of the team's logo and color scheme, will come later today -- so for more, check in this afternoon with

New franchise owner Ron Terwilliger told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Tim Tucker that "It seems to me it's a really consistent name with Atlanta and its history." Only one problem, Ron . . . Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. actually delivered his history-making "I Have a Dream" speech right here in Washington, DC -- home of the Washington Mystics.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Overtime Double-Overtime Is Our Time. Perhaps you saw the feature in Friday's Weekend section of the Washington Post telling readers that one of the best entertainment values in the area is the Maryland Women's Basketball Team . . . fun, inexpensive and good! Well, this afternoon at Comcast, it seemed like the team wanted to be sure to send new (and old) fans home feeling like they got their money's worth. Did they ever! Not only were we treated to an exciting 40 minute performance in regulation, but the Terps then gave us not one, but two 5 minute encores -- double overtime -- before finally coming away with the win over ACC nemesis Georgia Tech, 99-95.

Though exciting for the fans, it didn't look to be so much fun for the Maryland players, as all afternoon we saw them being grabbed, pushed, bumped, swatted or held by the Yellow Jackets. And despite the greater number of fouls called on Tech, take the BasketCases' word for it, the officials didn't whistle them all . . . hardly. Physical play and some excellent shooting gave Tech not one, not two, but three good shots at knocking off the #4 team in the nation . . . but fortunately they failed. We know it sounds trite, but every time it looked as though it was curtains for the Terps, someone, somehow managed to make a play that would send the fat lady back to the Green Room.

Laura Harper and Crystal Langhorne each had huge double-double games, Harp with 24 points and 20 boards, and Lang with 31 and 15. "Wow" would be an understatement. Lang started the game needing 56 points to amass an incredible 2,000 for her career. We knew that, barring injury, she would get there fairly soon, but we didn't think she'd get more than halfway there this afternoon. Two other starters, Marissa Coleman and Marah Strickland, also finished in double figures, with 24 and 12 points, respectively. The indefatigable Marissa, by the way, played 49 of the 50 minutes, while Lang and Marah each played 48. Whew!

Speaking of Lang . . . As everyone knows by now, at UVA on Friday, she broke Vicky Bullett's record as Maryland's All-time Leading Scorer. Well, the ever-gracious Vicky was on hand today at mid-court prior to tip-off to give Lang the game ball from Friday to mark the occasion, having driven in from West Virginia to help honor Lang in this way. Vicky told us before the game how happy she was to be part of honoring Crystal, and how wonderful this accomplishment was not just for Lang but for the entire Maryland program.

Grace Under Pressure. Our nails weren't the only body parts tested by today's double-overtime game. When a woman is nearly 33 weeks pregnant, there are other organs that are being pressured more than usual. At a Rebounders social after the game with the coaches and players, Coach Frese fessed up to having told the team at the end of regulation that she didn't think her bladder could handle an overtime. But she found a way to make it through the first extra period and then, somehow, someway, like her players, Coach B found a way to make it through a second overtime as well . . . at which point the players concluded that they had tested her enough. We're all glad that she -- and the team -- made it through their two encores, successfully. And at the Rebounders social, more than one fan told us (and we agreed) that they were just glad that today's nail-biter didn't send Coach B into labor right then and there!

Coach B did promise us twice the fun at the beginning of the season. Today, for sure, we got twice the excitement . . . and most definitely our money's worth.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Under the Shell.

How often do you get a chance to take a close up look Under the Shell of the Maryland Terrapins? As we all know from watching previous seasons of this weekly behind-the-scenes documentary series, there's no telling what interesting, amusing or amazing things you may learn.

Thanks to 30 minutes on the treadmill (for one of us) and large infusions of coffee (for the other), the BasketCases -- who returned from Charlottesville in the wee hours of the morning -- were both wide awake and watching at 10 AM today when this season's Under the Shell premiered on Comcast. We loved it! When Coach B's husband, Mark Thomas, talked about the team's reaction to his wife's babies-on-board announcement last August, he said he doesn't normally get all teary-eyed . . . but watching him talk about it made us do just that. And the players' individual interviews talking about the future additions to the Terps' family were absolutely wonderful and priceless.

We hope other Maryland fans were lucky enough to catch this morning's program. (If you missed it, it should, at some point, be available on the web -- we'll let you know when it's up.***) But now you have no excuses for missing the next one. Tune in every Saturday at 10 AM to Comcast SportsNet. Watch it . . . record it . . . enjoy it!

***It's Now Available on the Web! That was quick work . . . so even those of you who slept in yesterday can see it. Just click here for the link, go to the "Under the Shell TV Show" thumbnail and there you'll find the first show of the 2008 season (along with an archive of shows from last season). [In the future, if you wish to find it from the Terps official website, look on the right side about mid-way down for rotating images advertising Under the Shell, Fridge TV and the Coach Gary (knocking off #1 UNC . . . way to go, Coach G!!!) Show. When the yellow Under the Shell image appears, click on it and that'll take you there.] Be sure you watch yesterday's program before catching the next one on Comcast, Saturday morning at 10 AM. There will be a test.

It's How You Finish. The Virginia Cavaliers came out fully ready to play the #4 team in the nation tonight, while the Terps . . .well, the Terps came out a bit flat.

That, combined with the two quick fouls that Marissa Coleman picked up, sending her to the bench for quite a while, resulted in the Cavs leading by as much as ten for a good chunk of the half. But thanks to a late surge by the Terps, sparked by some critical baskets by freshman starter Marah Strickland, the momentum shifted back to Maryland, who headed to the locker room down only one after the first 20 minutes, 33-34.

Although the Terps took their first lead about 15 seconds into the second half, Virginia did not give up, closed the gap, and turned the game into a nail-biter, as the teams traded baskets until late in the period. But just as overtime is our time, so are the final minutes of regulation. As they did on Monday against Duke, Maryland ended with a late charge to finish off the Hoos with a double-digit advantage, 74-62.

Marah had a huge night, playing all 40 minutes and notching 19 points. Kinda reminds us of 2006 when a couple of freshmen stepped up big. And while one of those former freshmen, Marissa Coleman, played only 23 minutes tonight because of foul trouble, she still scored in double figures (13), as did that other former freshman Kristi Toliver, who had 16 points and 5 assists.

Crystal ("All World") Langhorne entered the game needing only 5 points to break the legendary Vicky Bullett's record as Maryland's all-time leading scorer. Well, Lang not only broke that record, she smashed it by putting up 20 points (!) -- along with 16 rebounds (!!), for another double-double. The Rebounders (three full red-clad rows of us) were keeping track of Lang's points, and when she got her 5th, gave her a standing ovation. Congratulations to Lang!! She's just amazing!

Speaking of the Rebounders (plus other Maryland fans in attendance) . . . our group was loud and we definitely made our presence known, earning a much-appreciated thumbs up from Coach Park at the end of the game.

And as it turns out Coach Park was a topic of convesation in, of all places, the ladies restroom. Wearing red Maryland tees meant that in the women's room during half-time, surrounded by a sea of orange female Wahoos, the BasketCases were politely asked a number of questions about how Coach B is doing ("Great, but she can't tie her shoelaces"), why she wasn't here tonight ("Doctor's orders"), and when she's having the babies ("We don't know, but perhaps that scary first half caused her water to break"). But our favorite comment came from a very dignified southern matron, who proclaimed, "That very nice young man is doing a great job filling in for Coach Frese." ("Yes, the BasketCases definitely agree.")

Finally, the BasketCases want to give a special shout out of thanks to the Rebounders and the University of Maryland Transportation Department, who arranged to pick us up and to drop us off today at a Park and Ride closer to our home in Virginia, so we could start blogging before the rest of the Rebounders got home! Thank you!

Friday, January 18, 2008

On The Road to Charlottesville. The BasketCases have just boarded a big, beautiful University of Maryland bus, joining about 50 other red-clad Rebounders headed for Charlottesville to watch the Terps take on UVA at 7 PM. Both teams are undefeated in ACC play to date. Obviously, that won't be the case after tonight. Check back with us later. For now, we're going to sit back and watch the video entertainment on the bus. It's a replay of Monday's game against Duke. Now THAT should put us all in a good mood!

(BasketCases live mobile blogging)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It Looks Easy, but if you're 32 weeks pregnant with twins, Do Not Try This at Home . . . unless, of course, you have a helpful spouse nearby.

We learned this evening from Richard Sher's interview with Coach B on WJZ-TV 13 Baltimore that while Coach B earlier this week was able to become the first coach in the nation to rack up 20 wins . . . she is not able to tie her own shoelaces without help from her husband, Mark Thomas. We recommend that you take a moment to check out the local news feature (complete with video!)about Brenda's pregnancy.

Speaking of news, the BasketCases found this blog by Meredith Shiner of (are you ready for this?) the Duke Chronicle very interesting.

Monday, January 14, 2008

BookEnds. Tonight at Comcast, the Terps opened their much-anticipated match-up against Duke with a 17-4 run. Tonight at Comcast, the Terps closed their much-anticipated match-up against Duke with a 17-2 run. In between (perhaps for the sake of ESPN's national television audience) the Terps, shall we say, made it exciting. But all that really matters is MARYLAND BEAT DUKE IN COLLEGE PARK.

This one's in the Books, 85-70 (see above). The 10-year home drought has Ended. Maryland Beat Duke in College Park. Yes, we know we're repeating ourselves, but we just love the sound of that!

You were there (along with about 15,500 other fans). Or you were watching at home, along with countless others. Or you recorded it and have, no doubt, watched the replay. So what can we tell you that you don't already know? You know about the phenomenal performance by Marissa Coleman (tying a career high with 30 points). You know about Kristi Toliver's 21 points & 6 assists. You know about Lang and Harp combining for 29 points and a whole bunch of rebounds. You know what a physical and hard-fought game it was. You know how the Terps found another gear when the game was all tied up with about 6 minutes remaining. And you know that Maryland's win tonight makes them the first team in the country with 20 victories. But most of all, you know how good it feels to witness Maryland Beating Duke in Our House.

And speaking of witnesses, this clash between two ACC powers not surprisingly brought out the WNBA scouts. Mystics GM Linda Hargrove, who holds the sixth pick in April's pro draft, was there, as were NY Liberty Head Coach Patty Coyle and a rep from the Seattle Storm. There's no question that we'll be seeing a number of Terps playing for teams in the WNBA in the years to come, we just don't know yet where they'll be playing.

But enough about the future . . . time to return to the now. Before we call it a night (a very good night), we'd like to leave our readers with one final thought: Maryland Beat Duke at Comcast.

Photo Credit: DC BasketCases

Sunday, January 13, 2008

This Month in History. The BasketCases believe in the importance of knowing about and learning from the past. Without a historical perspective, we can often make the same mistakes or fail to appreciate the significance of current events. Why, even President Bush alluded to the importance of history when he said, "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

So today's blog is simply a look back at some significant events that took place 10 years ago this month, in January 1998:

  • "Ellen" aired its 100th episode

  • Charles Barkley pleaded not guilty to an assault charge

  • Britain's Queen Mum underwent a hip replacement at age 97

  • The Howard Stern Show premiered in Indianapolis

  • Posh Spice and David Beckham got engaged

  • The WNBA began filling the rosters of its new expansion franchises, the Washington Mystics and the Detroit Shock

  • The Denver Broncos defeated the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII

  • Pope John Paul II visited Cuba

  • President Bill Clinton declared, "I want to say one thing to the American people. I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky"

  • And, on January 30, 1998, Maryland defeated Duke in Cole Field House (the last time the Terps beat the Blue Devils in College Park)

Don't take a chance on missing any new Maryland history. Be there tomorrow (Monday) night, at Comcast, where Duke has never (yet!) been defeated. Arrive early; a big crowd is expected; doors open at 5:30PM.

GO TERPS!!!! BEAT Duke!!!!

* * * * * * * * * *

Current Events, January 14, 2008. When two ACC powerhouses are about to play each other, the media take notice. The Baltimore Sun , the Washington Times, and the Baltimore Examiner have game previews, while Kathy Orton in the Washington Post has a nice feature about Kristi Toliver and the Carroll County Times profiles freshman starter Marah Strickland. Over on, Mechelle Voepel writes about Duke under new Head Coach Joanne P. (bite me) McCallie, adding a sidebar in which Coach P says nice things about Maryland. The Charlotte News & Observer profiles Duke senior Wanisha Smith, who played at Riverdale Baptist High School for then Riverdale Head Coach and now Maryland Assistant Coach Diane Richardson, making tonight's game somewhat of a homecoming. Meanwhile, down south in Tampa (site of this year's Final Four), the Tribune has discovered the shocking news that Coach B is pregnant!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Looking for that Perfect Baby Gift for your favorite pregnant Head Coach? Look no further!

* * * * * * *
And speaking of pregnant head coaches . . . there's a wonderful story on about how our favorite pregnant Head Coach watches the Terps' road games now that doctors have ordered her to stay close to home. A pretty great setup in the Frese-Thomas household! And we also learn about some in-utero education that the two Terp-twins-to-be are receiving. This is, as we are so fond of saying, a don't miss article.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

One Two for the Books.

Tonight in Boston, one of the Terps' favorite cities, two long-standing and very important Maryland records fell. When senior Ashleigh Newman entered the game against Boston College, she broke Christy Winters Scott's record of 123 consecutive games played. New-New has now played in all 124 games since her freshman year. Remarkable!!

Crystal Langhorne, who earlier in the season had become the only Maryland women's basketball player to pull down 1,000 rebounds, tonight obliterated the men's record of 1,053 held since 1974 by Len Elmore, making her the leading rebounder in all of Maryland history. Barring injury, Lang -- who now has 1,065 rebounds -- should put this record out of reach for another few decades . . . at least.

As for the game, the Terps moved to 3-0 in ACC play as they clipped the Eagles' wings, 88-61. Maryland controlled the game for the full 40 minutes. The Terps led by 12 at the half and extended the lead to 27 by the final buzzer. Though BC freshman post player Carolyn Swords had a career night (leading all scorers with 28 points and grabbing 13 rebounds), BC's other frosh phenom, Stefanie Murphy (a five-time ACC Rookie of the Week) was taken completely out of her usual game. Murphy -- who prior to meeting the Terps had averaged nearly 19 points and 10 rebounds --finished with only 7 points and 2 rebounds tonight, while Maryland's only freshman starter, Marah Strickland, had 12 points and 4 boards.

Maryland's other four starters also finished in double figures. After missing her first five shots, Kristi Toliver found her range and came back to lead the Terps with 26 points. And in addition to her 18 rebounds, Lang also scored 18 points, for yet another double-double.

Congratulations to Ashleigh and to Lang on their individual accomplishments, and to all the Terps on another decisive win. Next up: the game we've all had circled on our calendars since the schedule was released: Duke, Monday night. Although the game is on national TV, we'll see you at Comcast -- no excuses!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Maryland 110, Clemson 46.

That score pretty much says it all. In the face of relentless offense and defense by the Terps this afternoon, the Clemson Tigers turned into pussycats. Maryland scored the first basket of the game, raced out to a huge lead, and by halftime the score was 52-28. Clemson was unable to make any meaningful adjustments during the break, and was outscored by an even greater margin in the second half, 58-18, leading to a crushing Maryland victory of 110-46. Rookie Kat Lyons sent the score into triple digits when she nailed a three with 6:29 left on the clock, giving Maryland its first 100-point game of season. It's always fun for the hometown fans to see a game like that (and we certainly had fun!), but we confess that we did not think we'd see a game that lopsided against an ACC opponent. In some respects, blogging about a such a game is a little dull; what can you say but recite the incredible stats? And one of the most incredible was points off turnovers: Maryland 45, Clemson zero, nada, nothing, zilch.

Two Terps, Harp and Lang, combined to outscore the Tigers all by themselves, putting up 27 and 25 points, respectively. Clemson simply had no answer for them in the post. And Harp, who played only 26 minutes, not only led all scorers, but had yet another double-double (11 boards), as well as 3 blocked shots (including a monster two-handed stuff), 2 assists and 2 steals. Lang's points today moved her past Shay Doron into second place on Maryland's all-time scoring list. Only 39 more points and she will surpass the legendary Vicky Bullett. And when Lang pulls down 7 more boards, she'll also hold the school record for most career rebounds now held, as our loyal readers know, by Len Elmore.

Kristi Toliver also had a double-double today with 19 points and 10 assists, while freshman starter Marah Strickland was also in double figures with 11 points. Marissa Coleman, with 10 rebounds, was one point shy of a double-double. And speaking of records, Ashleigh Newman did indeed play her 123d consecutive game today, tying the Maryland record for most consecutive games played. Assuming Ashleigh plays at Boston College on Thursday, she will hold the record all by herself.

Following the game, the Rebounders held their first "social" of the season. These are wonderful events at which the team's best fans get to mingle with the coaches, the players, and the players' families. The players are all great kids, and getting to know them, even a little bit through events like this, is very special. Coach Frese, who is now in her 31st week, told us all that twins are usually born between weeks 32 and 38, which means that she and Mark could be parents very, very soon. Coach B is also determined to be back for the NCAA tournament (did anyone doubt it?), and will certainly be helped by the fact that the first two rounds will be played at Comcast. We also learned from Coach B that Inside Edition was filming a story on the Terps today that should air sometime this week, so set your DVRs or TIVO now!

The Terps are clearly focused on the Duke game a week from Monday, but before they can take on their arch-rival, they must play the Eagles in Boston on Thursday at 7 PM. (Boston College upset NC State today, so no one will be looking past them.) Be sure to watch on ACC Select!

Still Going!

Many long-standing Maryland records are falling this season as the 2006 Natty-winner-starters (minus Shay) have now reached their senior and junior years. And most of the record-breaking attention has been focused on stars Crystal Langhorne and Kristi Toliver, who are burning their names in the record books with their on-court prowess.

But today, barring injury, illness, or something else that keeps her from playing in Maryland's 2 PM ACC home opener against Clemson, senior Ashleigh Newman will tie the record for most consecutive games played by a Terp at 123. Ashleigh has played in every single game since her freshman year, a truly remarkable accomplishment. The current record is held by Christy Winters Scott, who also played every game of her college career (1987-90). So pay attention this afternoon when Number 21 enters the game, as she will deserve a big hand!

When it Reins Reigns Rains it Pores Pours.

Memo two too to newspaper editors and writers concerning a very important linguistic principal principle: the English language contains many groups of words called homonyms. They sound the same, but they are spelled differently and they have different meanings. If ewe you use the wrong one in a sentence, the spell-checking software that you rely on to catch your typos will not pick up the error, since the word you have used is a reel real word, just not the won one you should have used.

And so the BasketCases' pet peeve of this morning is waking up to find yet another homonym-impaired article (this one from the Washington Times) about how Assistant Coach Daron Park, now filling in for mother-to-be Coach Frese in away games, has taken over the "reigns" from Coach B, the same message we got in Friday's Winston-Salem Journal. To quote Queen Victoria, who reigned for a really long thyme time and was driven around by coachmen holding the reins on the royal horses, "we are not amused."

Thursday, January 03, 2008

If a Tree Falls in Wake Forest . . . The Terps and the Demon Deacons opened the ACC season tonight in Winston-Salem, and it was clear soon after the opening tip as Maryland raced out to an 18-2 lead that, absent some arboreal disaster taking out the entire Maryland bench, there was simply no way the Deacons were going to beat the Terps. Wake Forest was coming off a 2006-07 ACC season in which it went 0-14, including a loss in Maryland last January by a score of 83-60. Tonight, playing on the Deacons' own floor, the Terps did even better. They were up 47-13 at the half, having played a crisp, terrific 20 minutes of basketball, and went on to crush Wake Forest by a final score of 83-49.

Four Terps finished in double figures: Harp, Lang and Kristi each had 15 points, while rookie starter Marah Strickland chipped in 10. Lang also had 10 rebounds for yet another double-double, and should break Len Elmore's Maryland rebounding record any day now.

Freshman Kat Lyons, who grew up in nearby Kernersville, NC, had a bunch of fans in the house. To their great delight, she scored on three for three from behind the arc when she entered the game in the second half.

Coach Frese, very soon to be the mother of twin Terps, did not make the trip to Winston-Salem. According to the Associated Press, Coach B's doctors have now "advised her not to go on road trips." As he has done previously when Coach B could not travel because of her pregnancy, Coach Park took over the reins tonight, and again came away with a win.

The Terps return home to Comcast this Sunday where they will face Clemson at 2 PM.

Friday Morning Update: The article in today's Winston-Salem Journal about last night's game is a good eyewitness account, but its factual and homonym spelling errors are a really sad commentary on what has happened to journalism in this country. And Wake Forest Head Coach Mike Petersen gets our award for quote of the week: “At the risk of sounding real stupid, I wasn’t planning on getting past 60 (points), to be perfectly frank with you." Way to go, Mike!

And congratulations to Kristi Toliver, who broke Maryland's three-point shooting record last night!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

1-2-3 GO!

It's hard to imagine a non-conference schedule more packed, more competitive, more exciting or more fun than the one the Terps just completed. But now that's history, and tomorrow (Thursday), when Maryland starts ACC play on the road against Wake Forest, the stakes are even higher. Every game from here on out counts in the ACC standings and the ACC tournament seedings, and is critical to Maryland's NCAA tournament seeding.

The game starts at 7 PM. You can listen on WMUC, or watch via ACC Select. And everything you need to know about the upcoming game you can find, as usual, on Maryland's excellent web site.

Thursday Morning Update: In this morning's Washington Post, Kathy Orton writes about the physical demands on Coach B at this stage of her pregnancy, as well as about how much responsibilty is now being borne by Coach B's new assistant coach, Daron Park.