As the BasketCases Drove up to Comcast this morning for the noon start of the Terrapin Classic, we were hoping that the Terps would not be looking past the (4-6) La Salle Explorers to the expected game tomorrow against #17-ranked St. John's. We were also hoping that the Maryland players wouldn't be exhibiting signs of post-holiday lethargy after a nine-day layoff. Instead, what we were hoping for was to see Maryland come out strong, decisively put away their opponent and advance to meet the winner of the 2nd half of today's Maryland Classic double-header.
We're happy to report that sometimes wishes do
come true. Today we got our wish. The Terps came out of the blocks focused and determined, and before you knew it, Maryland was ahead, 18-2, and the game was all but over
. During the early minutes of the first half, we thought the Explorers probably could've used MapQuest to help find the basket. At the break, the Terps were ahead, 43-21.
During the second half, the teams playing the second game of today's double-header, St. John's and Liberty
, were in the stands watching their potential Wednesday opponent. Neither team, however, got to see much of Maryland's starters . . . all of whom spent at least the last ten minutes of today's game on the bench. But they did get to see a very good second-half performance by Maryland's reserves, who picked up where the starters left off, and helped the Terps cruise to an easy 83-45
Playing only 17 minutes, Lynetta Kizer led the Terps with 15 points (and 9 rebounds). Rookie starter Alyssa Thomas put up 14 points in 19 minutes, and Diandra T rounded out Maryland's double-digit scoring with 11 points in 20 minutes. The star of the second half was crowd favorite Yemi Oyefuwa, who played 9 minutes and scored a career-high 7 points!
With their game already in the books, it was then the Terps' turn to wait to see who they'd be playing tomorrow. Every Maryland coach and player watched the entire St. John's/Liberty game. Each player was equipped with a pad and pencil and was busy taking notes throughout the game. What was notable by their absence were cell phones, iPads, and ear buds. Clearly, the Terps were given a message -- loud and clear -- that watching tomorrow's opponent was serious business, not a time for social networking.
As the Terps no doubt anticipated (and the BCs certainly hoped), a match against the higher-ranked St. John's Red Storm of the Big East was only a day away. Yet until the last couple of minutes of the second game, it was still up-in-the-air
who the winner would be, as St. John's and Liberty slugged it out, neither team able to create any real separation. Finally, a late game rally by the Red Storm got St. John's the win, 81-66. The final score does not reflect how close this game really was for 35 minutes or thereabouts.
So the BCs got our wish: a match-up between #18/20 Maryland and #17/17 St. John's tomorrow morning at (the ridiculously early) tip-off time of 11:30 AM. Two closely ranked teams from BIG conferences squaring off in an out-of-conference contest just days before both teams begin conference play.
Don't miss this one!
For the record, the only one of our wishes that didn't
come true today . . . BC Eileen really wanted Dara Taylor
to have a BIG game for the Terps today. Don't take this the wrong way . . . Dara
played very well. 4 assists in only 10 minutes of playing time is outstanding! But BC Eileen really wanted Dara
to be the star
of today's game. That way we could have titled today's post
Dara v. The Explorers. (Oh well, maybe next time the Terps play La Salle . . . )
See you tomorrow at 11:30 AM.
Go Terps . . . Beat the Red Storm!
* * * * * * * * *
Some additional reading .
. . St. John's uber
fan (and BCs reader and fellow blogger) Rebecca
was in the house on Tuesday, having made the trek from snowcovered New York to see her Red Storm in action at Comcast. For Rebecca's
truly unique recap of both games, see her Game Notes of Doom