Felt Like March . . .
Watching tonight's game between #14 Maryland and #3 Duke, you'd never have known it was January; or, that it was opening night of the ACC season. No, this game felt more like March . . . like an ACC final. That's when we expect intense, hard-fought nailbiters, full of punches and counterpunches by two really good teams. Not so much in early January.
But intense, hard-fought, nail-biter definitely describes today's ACC opener between the Terps and the Blue Devils at Cameron. Indeed, with a minute to go, it was still anybody's game. Unfortunately, it was Duke (led by senior Jasmine Thomas, who scored 7 of her team's last 11 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer) who made plays down the stretch to secure the win, 71-64.
We have no doubt the Terps are disappointed, and we're disappointed too. We so much wanted them to pull this one out. But despite the loss, we're certainly proud to be Maryland fans.
The lower-ranked Terps went into Cameron, one of the most hostile venues in basketball. They faced an undefeated, veteran-led team; a team ranked #3 in the country . . . and gave the Blue Devils a real run for their money. The Terps' loss tonight, kicking off conference play against the #1 team in the ACC, was disappointing, for sure. But we hope the Terps, as one of the youngest teams in the NCAA's D-I, will take away some confidence, despite the final score. In any event, we're pretty sure they'll leave Durham with the desire to never let a close game like tonight's slip away again.
Tonight's (not-quite-winning) performance was a team effort by Maryland. But we'd like to give a shout out to a few players. We were absolutely thrilled to see Kim Rodgers (coming off the bench) find her stroke again . . . as she led the Terps with a career-high 18 points. Kimmie hit back-to-back threes in the first half that sparked a Maryland run, sending a message to the Devils that the Terps had come to play. Freshman starter -- and standout -- Alyssa Thomas notched a double-double (11 points and 12 rebounds), while Diandra T finished in double figures with 14 points, and Anjale Barrett (from the BronX) dished out a career-high 10 assists.
The Terps now have a week to regroup after tonight's loss and get ready for their ACC season home opener. Next Thursday they face Boston College at 7 PM at Comcast. We'll be there!
For now, congratulations to Duke. We're already looking forward to the re-match on February 17th (at Comcast) . . . which, coincidentally, just happens to be Markus and Tyler's real (calendar) birthday. Not to mention we're already hoping to witness a 3rd meeting (with everything on the line), in March, at the ACC Tournament.
Go Terps . . . Beat the Eagles!
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Friday Morning Oversight: In the shout-out department, the BCs were remiss in not sending one out earlier to DWHOOPS.com (the online unofficial website for Duke women's basketball). The folks at DWHOOPS made and distributed hundreds of TeamTyler wristbands at Cameron last night. Coach B and Coach P both wore their wristbands during the game. The Duke and Maryland teams and their fans may be adversaries on the court, but are of one mind when it comes to fighting Leukemia. Thank you, DWHOOPS.com for your thoughtfulness!