This afternoon in Philadelphia, the Terps beat a solid (10-3) St. Joe's team from the Atlantic 10. If you just look at the final score, 74-60, you would think the game was simply another easy double-digit win for Maryland. In the end (that is, the second half), it was. But in the beginning (the first half), this was yet another tight back-and-forth contest.
I guess we should be getting used to it by now. But of course we haven't. So as we listened to the St. Joe's radio announcers calling the first half of the game, we were wondering, "When are the Terps going to begin playing Maryland basketball?" Duh . . . the second half.
The fact that Maryland led at all at the end of 20 minutes (32-29) was due, to a great extent, to the impressive performance today of freshman standout Alyssa Thomas. Alyssa scored 10 points in the first half and finished with a career-high (and team-best) 22 points. It seems to the BCs, watching Alyssa so far this season, that she's a star in the making.
As for the team as a whole, after losing the battle of the boards to St. John's last Wednesday, the Terps weren't about to let that happen again. They outrebounded the Hawks 21-16 in the first half, and stretched that to a 48-30 advantage by game's end. Two Terps led the glass-cleaning effort, Diandra T and Lynetta Kizer, each of whom finished with double-doubles: Diandra (12 pts, 13 rbs) and Lynetta (11 pts, 10 rbs). And Kim Rodgers, off the bench, also added 10 points to the Terps' point total.
As we've seen (listened to, or followed on Gametracker) before, the Terps use their size, rebounding ability, and depth to wear down their opponents. And that's exactly what they used today to secure a victory over the SJU Hawks and conclude the pre-conference portion of this season's Maryland program. Easy.
But, as you already know, there should be nothing easy about the Terps' next game or their next opponent. On Thursday, Maryland opens ACC play on the road, in Cameron, against the #3/3 ranked Duke Blue Devils. What better way for one of the youngest (but extremely talented) teams in D-I basketball to measure themselves against the senior-led conference favorite! We're really looking forward to seeing this one. And luckily, it's being shown on Comcast SportsNet at 7 PM (check your local listings).
Go Terps . . .