Today Was Special for a variety of reasons. Of course, there was that spooky numerology thing: 11-11-11. That doesn't happen very often. More important, it was Veteran's Day . . . when we honor those who serve and sacrifice for our country. That always makes it a special day.
Then add the fact that today was the start of the NCAA women's basketball regular season. 134 games today! Lots of teams in action all over the U.S. . . . and Maryland was one of them.
This evening at Comcast, the Terps played host to their neighbor to the north, Loyola. The Terps v. Greyhounds has become an annual affair, only the venue changes each year. But, fortunately for Maryland, the outcome didn't. Once again, the Turtles outraced the Canines --wire to wire. Final score: Maryland 84, Loyola 46.
So, to recap, on 11/11/11, Maryland played its #1 game of the regular season and recorded its #1 win. Whoa! That's a lot of ones! We still think this is kinda spooky.
But back to the game: In a contest like tonight's, when one (there's that number again!) team dominates another from start to finish, the fans (that would be us) have the chance to focus on some individual players and individual performances . . . since we're not overly worried about the final outcome. And what we saw tonight were a couple of very special people.
But Alyssa's not the only special player who grabbed our attention. It's still early, but the BCs now have a possible new candidate to take over as this year's Super Frosh. Not a stretch to guess who we might be considering for that title, since the Terps only have one true freshman this season, Brene Moseley. Is she special? So far, it sure looks that way. Tonight (and in the exhibitions) she played with the poise and skill of a player with far more experience. And playing the point is a tough position for a freshman (or any player, for that matter). Against the Greyhounds, Brene came off the bench to score 17 points (5-6 from the field and 2-2 from outside the arc!); she dished out 4 assists (should've been 5) and only turned the ball over 1 time (there's that number, again). Yes, Brene is a player we look forward to seeing much more of as the season develops. (BTW, TurtleSportsReport had a nice feature on Brene earlier . . . here. And this article by Gene Wang of the Washington Post makes clear how critical the play of Brene and the other guards will be to the Terps this season . . . here.)
We also liked what we saw from several other players . . . strong performances from Laurin Mincy (11 points), Tianna Hawkins (8 points and 7 rebounds), and Whitney Bays (6 points and a game-high 8 boards). The minutes were spread liberally (as you would expect against an overmatched opponent). And during her 6 minutes of playing time, Essence Townsend continued to show real improvement: 3 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 block. Great to see.
Also great to see were some Maryland legends who had returned to College Park to cheer for those now carrying on their legacy. Crystal Langhorne, Kristi Toliver, Marissa Coleman and Jade Perry were all in the house tonight.
A good solid opening performance (for the still Lynetta-less) Terps. But the next game will be a much much tougher test. The Georgetown Hoyas, who ended the Terps' season last March in the NCAA Tourney, travel to Comcast on Sunday for a 2 PM rematch with Maryland. Don't miss this one! The Terps need all the support we can give them.
Go Maryland . . . Beat the Hoyas!
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In other news, three future Terps -- Malina Howard, Tierney Pfirman, and Chloe Pavlech -- signed their Letters of Intent this week, and those players seem to be pretty special too. They'll all be arriving on campus next fall. We look forward to seeing them play!