Thursday, December 29, 2011

Won and Done

Terps fans have seen more than a few cupcakes this season, but tonight, in the final game of the Terrapin Classic, with #5 Maryland playing #19 Delaware, there were no cupcakes in uniform . . . only some very talented basketball players. If you wanted cupcakes, the only place to find them was before the game, up in Heritage Hall, where the Terps hosted a holiday party for season ticket-holders, complete with a bake-off competition loaded with yummy entries. The BCs sampled plenty, so we can attest to their yumminess with full authority.

While we enjoyed the pregame treats, we didn't need any sugar to get revved up about this evening's contest. Two ranked, undefeated teams facing off in front of a big, enthusiastic crowd; nearly 9,000 fans (including Lang, KT, Riss and even Alana Beard) . . . most wearing red, but with a healthy representation of Delaware blue. And the game itself did not disappoint. It was forty minutes of exciting, hard fought basketball, played in an atmosphere similar to that of ACC-rivalry games. In other words, it was great!

Early in the first half, the two teams were separated by no more than one or two possessions. Finally, Maryland began to pull away, only to see the Hens battle back. At halftime, with the Terps up by one point, it was still anybody's game. Maryland, and Alicia DeVaughn in particular, had done a great job helping to contain Delaware's Elena Delle Donne, the nation's top scorer (and a fixture on everybody's All-American list). EDD was held to to just 8 points, while Maryland's Alyssa Thomas put up 17 points in those first 20 minutes.

For the Terps, the second half was truly a team affair. If the first half was fueled by Alyssa's offense, then the second belonged to Laurin Mincy and Anjale Barrett. Although the Blue Hens took an early second half lead, it was short-lived, as Anj helped her teammates remain composed, and Laurin's fireworks helped light up the scoreboard. The Terps regained the advantage and never looked back.

Superstars almost always get their points, and EDD truly is a superstar. After an 8-point first period, she scored 24 points in the second half (for a game-high 32 points). However, it wasn't quite enough to pull out a victory for her Blue Hens, as Maryland won, 85-76.

Delle Donne played all 40 minutes, as did the Terps' Alyssa Thomas. These two players are warriors. Seeing them both giving everything they've got for their teams . . . that's what makes basketball such an exciting (and fun) sport. Super Soph Alyssa finished with 23 points (and 9 boards) and was named tournament MVP, but the Terps' team-high scoring honors went to (another Super Soph) Laurin, who put up 25 points (a career high . . . including 3 of 4 shots from beyond the arc), while Anjale also finished in double figures (16) and dished out 8 assists.

With tonight's game, the Terps are now done with the non-conference portion of their schedule, and what better way to bring this part of the season to a close --a big win against a tough opponent, to remain undefeated (13-0) heading into the ACC season. Conference play will test the Terps night in and night out. (There are no cupcakes.) We loved how the team rose to the challenge presented today by the previously undefeated Blue Hens. The Terps have the toughest conference schedule of any team in the ACC this season. Let's hope this important win provides some momentum to help Maryland continue its winning ways, beginning Monday, when they travel to Tallahassee to begin conference play on the road against Florida State.

Go Terps . . . Beat the 'Noles!

Photo Credit: DC BasketCases


At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unbelievable, fantastic game. So much action, I was exhausted at the end of it. But elated! I am now a fan of Delaware and I wish them the best for the rest of the year. They definitely do belong in the top 20. Kudos to Brene whoo had the tough job of covering Elena on one defensive stance, and coming out on top.

At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Considering how much time the Hens' ED-D spent on the seat of her pants, it is astonishing that she nevertheless dropped 32 on us. Had she stayed at UConn, I don't think even Baylor would have a chance.

I hope our bigs learned some things from playing with and against her, in particular how she uses both her height and her body to protect the ball. She's listed at 6'5", which is only an inch taller than Lynetta, but she seems to play much taller--and can shoot threes to boot.

I still don't know how Alyssa does it. She has ten points before I'm even settled in my seat. And cheers for Laurin Mincy. Now that the season is on, how well she plays will determine a lot about how the team fares.

At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

EDD is the best player I've seen. She is as good as advertised. Really great to see how Mincy and Barrett stepped up. Those 2 are the key to the Terps success. AT has proved herself and we know she will be good. Post is good. The question marks are how consistent will Mincy's and Barrett's shooting be through the ACC season. If it's good night in and night out---this season could be very special.

At 12:32 AM, Blogger dcsportsfan said...

This was a great game. Delle Donne is the real deal and I hope she makes some noise in the dance this year, and ultimately, in the pros.

At 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope we get to see Whitney get more time? Anyone have any clue about when she will start playing more and whether it's knee related?

At 4:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Basketcases, thanks for the great game summary for those fans who find it hard to drag themselves around the Beltway!! :) (I know, no excuses!!) I also know I can count on you to let me know what I missed!!


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