Sunday, February 21, 2010

Way More Than 30 . . .

Not many people would've been surprised if the young, inexperienced Terps played like a young, inexperienced team today as they faced the Conference-leading Blue Devils in one of the toughest venues in college basketball, Cameron Indoor Stadium. Instead, Maryland -- on the road -- hung with the #7/#8 nationally ranked Duke team for 35 minutes or more, before finally falling 71-59.

Yes, the Terps' youth definitely showed at times. Particularly in turnovers (23, with several un-forced) and abysmal free throw shooting (an absolutely horrendous 37.5%). But despite those self-inflicted wounds, the Terps still made a game of it.

In the first half, they battled back from a 10-point deficit to enter the locker room only 3 points behind . . . in large part thanks to 3-point sharpshooting by Lori Bjork. The first 15 minutes of the second period were a classic -- and exciting -- Maryland vs Duke battle. The Blue Devils led some, the Terps led some. And until the final few minutes, when Duke hit a couple of big buckets and capitalized on Terp fouls at the charity stripe, neither team could manage to build more than a one or two-possession lead. Maryland's intentional fouling in the final minutes helped stretch the Duke lead to double-digits, but anybody who saw it knows that this game was a much tighter contest than the final score suggests.

Lori finished with a team-high 14 points. Lynetta Kizer was close behind, with 13 (and 13 boards, for a double-double), while Anjale Barrett, coming off the bench, notched 11 points. And though Diandra fouled out with only 8 points, we'd be remiss if we didn't at least mention the monster block Frenchie delivered to Duke star Jasmine Thomas on a fast break late in the second half. That one was highlight-reel quality for sure!

A busload-and-more of Maryland fans made the trip to Cameron. They almost-but-not-quite got to see their team pull an upset. Regardless, they (and those of us who watched at home) got to see an afternoon of good competitive basketball from their young team.

The Terps close out the last week of the regular ACC season with a game on Thursday at Boston College, followed by a match on Sunday against another nationally ranked team, #10 Florida State, this year's final game at Comcast. Then it's on to Greensboro, where anything is possible!

Go Terps, Beat BC!


At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great effort in hostile territory. I do believe in good loses, especially for a team that is learning. These Terps rebounded, defended and hustled. That run down block on Thomas was amazing. They have no expectations going into the tournament-and that can be a lot of fun. Good luck the rest of the way.

At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great effort by the Terps! The missed free throws are killing them though. This team could easily be in 2nd or 3rd place if they had a good free throw percentage. It has to be a mental issue. Beat BC!


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