Monday, January 11, 2010

"What a Win!"

That's how ESPN announcer Bob Wischusen signed off from tonight's nationally broadcast game between the underdog Terps and host UVA on ESPN2. A game that Maryland WON, 61-60!

You saw it! We saw it! The young Terps beat the #19-ranked Cavs in Charlottesville, on network TV (in a game in which the Cav's Monica Wright broke Dawn Staley's all-time Virginia scoring record), and we can't say it any better than Bob did: What-A-Win!

After their embarrassing loss at NC State on Thursday, the Terps were a different road team tonight: they came out focused and composed. They held the lead for most of the game, not allowing themselves to get rattled by a slew of travel calls, nor by a half-time Hail Mary 3, nor by Cavalier runs, one of which gave the home team an opportunity for a winning shot with 3.1 seconds left on the clock. No, the young Turtles held their ground, made shots and got stops when they had to, and left Charlottesville with their first ACC victory of the season . . . by virtue of a 1-point nailbiter.

Coach B and her assistants deserve a big round of cyber-applause for the way they prepared their players for tonight's game and helped them regroup after Thursday's depressing loss.

And, of course, all of the Terps players also deserve congratulations. But 3 Maryland players in particular had huge games tonight: Senior (but MD newbie) Lori Bjork nailed 6 of 10 three pointers (!), finished with 20 points (tying Monica Wright for game high scoring honors), and really brought some much-needed veteran leadership into tonight's contest.

Meanwhile, last season's ACC ROY Lynetta Kizer added a double-double (19 pts and 14 rebounds), as did Freshman floor general Dara Taylor (10 points and 11 assists). Dara may have fouled out in the waning minutes of the game, but she left no doubt that she's a force to be reckoned with as her career progresses through this and the 3 seasons to follow. The only Maryland player who may board the bus for home somewhat less-than-happy might be Diandra T. Tonight, Diandra was the victim of so many traveling calls (including several very questionable ones as we watched the game in HD), that her offensive game was virtually shut down, not by the team in white, orange & blue, but by the team in black & white stripes.

We have to say that we are really proud of the effort and the performance of the young ladies from College Park. Thursday's loss had to be so much harder on them than it was on their fans . . . and we know the fans took it hard. But the way they started tonight's game . . . and the way they finished tonight's game -- in full view of a national TV audience -- tells us a great deal about their character. We've said it before, and no doubt we'll say it again, we expected this season to be a bumpy ride. We saw that in Raleigh. Tonight, in Charlottesville, we saw that this team and this season can also be very exciting.

What A Win!


At 8:32 AM, Anonymous Stewart said...

Congrats on the win! Meantime, there are rumblings that the Mystics are making some type of "major announcement" this afternoon. Have you heard anything? I theorize a big free-agent signing.

At 9:05 AM, Blogger BasketCases said...

As we understand it, it's too early under WNBA rules for a free agent signing. Our best guess, and it's only a guess, is that the Mystics are going to announce a jersey sponsor. But there's also news today that the Lynx will be announcing a "major player acquisition" this afternoon, so there's always the possibility that DC is involved in some trade.

We'll all know at 2pm!

-- BC

At 9:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats to the Lady Terps! Great night shooting and defense. Diandra....Diandra...Diandra...going to be a good player but the turnovers...oh my goodness....and the poor free throw shooting. She has a lot to work on. Big props to Dara, Lynetta and Lori B. Great game for those 3 ladies.

At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Stevo said...

A fun & exciting game to watch.. These young terps will be OK...

At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Stewart said...

Thanks for the clarification, DCB! As for the Lynx, the rumor was they were talking a trade that would send Renee Montgomery and a pick to Connecticut in exchange for Lindsay Whalen and another pick. Meantime, I'm still getting used to this jersey-sponsoring business. I'm a purist!

At 10:46 AM, Blogger posting-up said...

Great, heart-stopping game! I thought they played hard, end-to-end, the entire game. I love the energy and composure that Lori brings to the Maryland game. But, OMG...Diandra and the turnovers! Even if the Zebras over-participated, D has a lot to work on! Also thought Brenda really kept her cool; I'd have been apoplectic with all the turnovers!

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

Tiana had 7 turnovers but to me her turnovers were different. They were her fighting for rebounds and then losing the ball, etc. Not good, but she is young and I can live with those more. Diandra's were bad. All of those traveling calls. She really needs to work on that and her free throws. If she can get that straight, she can be a very good player.

At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quick note. We spoke with Carolyn Peck after the game and she commented something along the lines that Dara Taylor is a very talented player and that Caroyln thinks Dara has a great future ahead of her. High praise from one of our favorite announcers. Also spoke with Rebecca Lobo after the game and she told us that her husband (very funny guy) has a book coming out this spring titled "Pint Man". I love reading his tweets and know I will enjoy his book. Gerri

At 1:20 PM, Blogger BasketCases said...

Well,today's big Mystics news turns out to be neither of the things that we speculated about above: it's not a jersey sponsor nor a new player. The news is that Marianne Stanley is coming back as an Assistant Coach.

Welcome back, Coach Stanley!

-- BC

At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Stewart said...

Welcome back, indeed. I always did like her.

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great game for Lady Terps, won by rebounding, defense (particularly on Wright's last shot attempt) and fabulous 3-point shooting!! I was really impressed by Dara's speed with the ball-on one play she outran 3 Virginia players down the court when they had a head start!! Fun to watch!!

And Coach Stanley returning for the Mystics -interesting. Lot of basketball experience. Welcome back.

At 8:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys, my goodness, give Diandra a break, so far in this young season, she's had several great games! This one wasn't her best- granted, but damn guys! Remember she is a FRESHMAN and a pretty darn good one. I do believe she's been named ACC rookie of the week (twice?). They're all gonna have some off games- it's called, they're young and still learning!
GOOD JOB TO ALL THE TERPS! Way to hang tough and stay focused!
-- Monica

At 1:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for calling out the posters criticizing Diandra...she's a freshman and thus, likely to make mistakes, even dumb ones. Cut her a break and while you're at it, please stop referring to the Terps as "Lady Terps." They may be ladies and also Terps, but at MD, there are no lady terps, just terps. K?

Univ of MD alum '98

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our entire team is going to be up and down this year- even Lori, who is in her first year, in a new conference, with a new team, full of youngsters. For Diandra, it may be a matter of re-learning a subtle rule interp that was ok in International play, but for whatever reason NOT in NCAA play. That might take some time. Or it could be that referees have talked amongst themselves and she now has the "rep" of traveling and they are "anticipating" this call when she has the ball. That happens.

Overall, the team continues to be fun to watch. You can already see the growth in some of the young players, but clearly, there will be more rough spots ahead. Matching up against a veteran BC team will be tough Thursday night.


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