Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Won and Donne

Today was the first day of the annual Terrapin Classic, a two-day, four-team holiday tournament hosted by Maryland. Testudo (world famous Maryland mascot) came appropriately dressed for the occasion. The entree on today's lunchtime menu featured the #5-ranked Terps facing off against the Lafayette College Leopards. For dessert, the BCs got to sample the #19/20-ranked University of Delaware Blue Hens tipping off against the East Carolina Pirates in the second game of the double-header.

Before today's games, the Terps and the Blue Hens were among just a handful of undefeated D-I teams, and that was still the case after today's games as well. The two matches unfolded in similar fashion, as Maryland and Delaware each put their games away early (in the first half) against their weaker opponents. At halftime, the Terps led the Leopards, 51-13, while Delaware, at the break, was up 35-10 on the Pirates. The final scores, respectively, were 84-36 and 60-40, setting up tomorrow's expected -- and much anticipated -- showdown between Maryland and neighboring Delaware.

Every Terp played today, and every Terp scored, five of them in double figures. We were especially impressed, as we have been all season, with Tianna Hawkins, who's really elevated her game this year, on both ends of the court. In only 21 minutes today, T-Hawk finished with another double-double -- 10 points and 13 rebounds (as well as three steals, a block, and no turnovers). It's pretty well known that T-Hawk (a Criminal Justice major) aspires to join the Secret Service after college (and we think the President's security would be in excellent hands!), but as Coach B recently said in this ESPN article , if Tianna ". . . continues to work, she's going to put a lot of options on the table for herself." Secret Service? WNBA? A tough choice!

For the BCs, one of the most interesting parts of the afternoon was getting to watch Delaware's Elena Delle Donne. (We weren't the only ones watching . . . the Terps' coaching staff was sitting courtside, while the entire Maryland team was sitting in the stands with notepads in hand . . . not to mention sandwiches, water and boxes of Wheat Thins.) No doubt many of our readers will recall that Delle Donne was the #1-ranked high school superstar who committed to UConn but left Storrs after several days to return home to Delaware. She then enrolled at the University of Delaware, where she played volleyball for a year, a sport she'd also excelled at in high school. After a year of spikes and blocks, Delle Donne opted to join the school's basketball team. This year, her third back on the court, she's led her mid-major team to a national-ranking. This past summer, Elena and Lynetta Kizer were teammates on the USA World University Games team, which won a gold medal in China. Today, in the game against East Carolina, Delle Donne (to no one's surprise) led all scorers, with 22 points.

The last time Delaware played at Comcast (November 2007 in the pre-season WNIT), it was no contest. As we reported at the time, Maryland "sliced, diced, braised, broiled and fricasseed the overmatched Blue Hens." Tomorrow, the BCs are expecting a very different game. Two undefeated, nationally ranked teams going head-to-head. What happens when a Turtle meets a Chicken in a holiday tournament? Sounds like the opening line of a very funny joke. But tomorrow's game is no joke. Tomorrow's game (which tips off at 7 PM) is very likely to be one of the Terps' three toughest matches on their 2011-12 non-conference schedule. At the end of that game, we can say with certainty, there will be one less undefeated team left this season in D-I of the NCAA. Obviously, we hope (and believe) that remaining undefeated team will be Maryland.

Don't miss this one!

Go Terps . . . Beat the Hens!

Photo Credit: DC BasketCases


At 8:44 PM, Blogger fr mike said...

Wish I could see the game. I'll be looking forward to your recap of the game. GO! GO DCBC!


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