Sunday, January 17, 2010

Not Enough Ketchup Catch-up

Maryland's game against UNC this afternoon took place in very unfamiliar surroundings for the young Terps -- no active player on the Terps' roster had played so much as a single game (prior to today) in the newly-renovated and reopened Carmichael Auditorium.

Perhaps the newness of their surroundings had something to do with the team's slow start. Maybe, maybe not. Who knows? In any event, winning on the road is always tough in the ACC. No better proof than today, as the Terps lost to the home team --as did every other visiting team playing in the Conference today -- the Terps by a score of 75-64.

Maryland found themselves in the position of playing catch-up pretty much all game long. Once again, the mostly rookie Maryland team was plagued by turnovers. But today (unlike the previous 2 games . . . and wins) the Terps weren't able to compensate for their mistakes with rebounding, high percentage shooting or solid numbers from the FT line. No, today the Terps' 23 turnovers (ouch!) led to too many easy points for the Tar Heels. And when a team barely breaks 50% from the charity stripe, that just doesn't bode well for the outcome.

In the first half, it looked like UNC was ready to break the game open early. But we have to give a lot of credit to the young Maryland players. Unlike at NC State, when they fell behind early and for good, this time they battled back. Today, the Terps managed to close an 11-point deficit, take a short-lived lead, and head into the locker room at the half all tied up, 33-33.

The second half followed a similar pattern . . . for a while. The Heels went up by double-digits. The Terps fought back, closing UNC's lead to 2. But too many turnovers leading to fast break points by the Tar Heels, too many missed free throws -- and missed opportunities -- by the Terps gave Carolina an insurmountable lead and handed Maryland another ACC road loss.

Maryland was also plagued today by early foul trouble -- 3 of the Terps' starters picked up 2 each (and were parked on the bench) in the first half. As result of the fouls, Lynetta only played 19 minutes in the entire game. Her absence, along with a sub-par night from Diandra, allowed UNC's frontcourt to gain the upper hand. The Terps were forced to rely on their guards to pick up the slack. And there's no doubt they did their best! The only Maryland starter to finish in double digits today was Lori Bjork, who posted a game-high 18 points. And Kim Rodgers, coming off the bench (and playing in her first game since fracturing a bone in her hand) also hit double figures, scoring 11 points with her hand still all wrapped in tape. They did what they could. But, unfortunately, without the frontcourt support, it wasn't enough for a road win.

The Terps now return to (hopefully more friendly) Comcast for a two-game homestand. On Thursday, they'll take on the Miami Hurricanes at 7 PM, and then on Sunday, at 8 PM, they face the Conference-leading Duke Blue Devils.


At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These Terps are going to put it together just in time for the NCAA...they're young, but they keep improving and they never give up (which is more than I can say about some of their purported fans). Go Terps! Keep our Comcastle win streak'll be getting the better of Sylvia Hatchett and UNC soon enough and for awhile...

At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job competing Terps. Obviously, the turnovers killed us along with the usual poor free throw shooting. Hopefully as the season progresses, they will improve in both areas. If they can improve in those areas, they will be a very tough team to beat. They competed yesterday and never gave up. I continue to be impressed with Tianna Hawkins.

At 8:30 PM, Blogger terapin Ed said...

Thanks for the blog, been a huge fan of the team since they wont the Nat Champ 5 years ago. Unfortunately I live in Tampa so I dont get to see alot of games. This was the 2nd time I saw this team on TV this year. This is a very young team and I see alot of Freshman mistakes. Heres my review of the players from my pespective.
Diondra-Freshman with alot of talent. She has to work on freethrows and travelling. Thats all she should be doing during practice because those 2 areas are really holding her back.
Lynetta- could be a future WNBA pick. Great player, just needs more consistent performances. Gotta watch those fouls to insure being able to play alot of minutes.
lori-keep shooting those 3's. Great asset, showing some senior leadership on the court even though its the 1st year with the team.
Tianna-very impressed with this freshman.
Kim-great veteran guard to come off the bench to give the team a spark.keep shooting.
Dara-Alot of potential, just really needs to watch the turnovers. She will improve as the season goes on.
Anjali-another veteran guard spark off the bench. keep shooting
Jackie-not real impressed, needs work.
Essence, seeing only 2 games, I not sure she got into either game I saw. Looks like a project since not getting the minutes.
Yemi-Another project. She actually needs more minutes so she isn't nervously shooting the few times shes open on offence.

Bottom line is I really like this team. The only problem if lots and lots of Freshman mistakes, espicially Diandra and Dara. I think by the end of this season, there will be very few freshman mistakes because Diandra, Tianna and Dara are getting lots of minutes. By the end of the season with all these minutes they are getting, they will be veterans. I predict 5th place ACC with an NCAA invite to the dance. They will be a much stronger team by the end of the year due to the Freshman getting so much expereience.

Ed in Tampa

At 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miami is going to be a very tough game. Not sure if you've seen them play, but they have some very talented, strong players. They could cause problems.

At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terrapin Ed - You should say hi to my brother in Palm Harbor who is also carrying the Terp flag in the greater Tampa area. :) Just want to comment on your observation of Jackie. Since you've only seen two TV games, you haven't had the benefit of seeing more of her play. She is one of the most tenacious defenders on the team and usually brings a tremendous spark of energy off the bench. She also is a dead-eye at the 3 point line and I would like to see her take more shots. We think she is this year's pleasant surprise. Keep the faith in the sunshine state!!

At 10:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tianna Hawkins should be the ROY at Maryland...she is the heir apparent to Langhorne in terms of her rebounding, imo.


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