Sunday, January 16, 2011

Taming the Tigers

We had our first bit of good news this afternoon when we clicked on the link to the live webcast of the Terps' 3 PM game at Clemson and discovered (to our pleasant surprise) that the game was being shown for free! (Thank you TigerCast; the BCs always love freebies!) Even better news, however, is that the Terps bounced back from their loss to Boston College on Thursday by notching their first ACC win of the season (yay!), defeating the Tigers, 80-59.

It wasn't exactly the game we were expecting. The BCs confess we were expecting (or at least hoping) that the Terps would tame the Tigers quickly and decisively. (We did watch enough of Miami's rout of Clemson Friday night, in which the 'Canes outscored the Tigers 43-14 in the first half, to expect that Maryland, like Miami, would win easily.) However, as often happens, somebody forgot to send the opponent the memo, and so the first 20 minutes of today's game were not what we expected. As a matter of fact, the Tigers led for about eight minutes and only trailed the Terps by 4 at the break, 34-38. Hmmm.

Something tells us that Coach B had a few choice words for her troops in the locker room at halftime, because the second half turned into much more of what we were expecting. Maryland quickly built on that 4-point lead, outscoring Clemson 42-25 in the second 20 minutes, to win decisively by 21.

Rookie star Alyssa Thomas** led all scorers with 21 points (and fell just short of a double-double with 9 rebounds), while Ti-Hawk, off the bench, actually had a double-double (19 points and 10 boards). 'Netta rounded out the Terps' double-digit scoring with 14. And as a team, the Terps elevated their free throw shooting back to (a much improved) mediocre this afternoon (60.5%), following Thursday's embarrassing performance from the line.

After their disappointing 0-2 start in conference play, with today's win the Terps have a chance to improve to .500 on Friday, when they take on the Cavaliers at 8:30 PM in Charlottesville.

Speaking of the ACC standings, while it's not terribly surprising that Duke has started 3-0, it may be somewhat of a surprise to some observers that Miami is actually ahead in the ranks of the undefeated, at 4-0. The 'Canes followed up their thrashing of Clemson on Friday night by defeating Boston College this afternoon in a come-from-behind win, 65-53. There are no easy games in the ACC . . .

And that goes for the Terps' next game as well. So let's hope that today's second-half Terps show up in the first (and the second) half at Virginia on Friday.

Go Terps . . . Beat the Cavs!

* * * * * *

**Monday Update: For the 3rd time this season, Maryland freshman Alyssa Thomas has been selected as the ACC's Rookie of the Week. What a week she had! Congratulations, Alyssa!


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