Sunday, January 30, 2011

In an Effort to Conserve Time -- since we needed to stop off to do our grocery shopping after today's game -- we decided to write this blog post early . . . before the game, to be honest.

So forgive us if it isn't entirely accurate. (Accuracy is definitely much easier to achieve if you wait until after the game is played.) In any event, this is what we think will happen:

This afternoon at Comcast, Maryland interrupted its regularly scheduled ACC broadcast season to host the Lancers of Longwood University. This was the second half of a home-and-home begun last season (also in the midst of conference play).

Longwood is located in Farmville, Virginia, an actual place that (we think) inspired the popular Facebook game. (Anybody need a cow?) Why the Terps took a break from their ACC schedule to play another cupcake overmatched opponent, we don't know. We thought that part of the schedule wrapped up in November and December. Not so. But even though this game didn't promise to be overly-competitive, Maryland games are always fun, so off we headed to College Park this afternoon.

Last year, in Farmville (the real town, not FarmVille, the virtual one), the Terps crushed the Lancers, 85-40. Today, with the Terps playing at home, we expected no less of a rout. And we were not disappointed, as the Lancers, once again, were no match for the B.A.D. (Big, Athletic & Deep) Maryland Terps. Final score, [enter score here].

Super frosh Alyssa Thomas continued her string of double-digit games, finishing with [enter number] points, and Lynetta Kizer rebounded (literally and figuratively) from her single-point outing on Friday against Wake Forest, adding [enter number] points and grabbing [enter number] boards this afternoon. As in their last game, Maryland got contributions from many players today. [Enter names and details]

And once more, the entire Terps' bench saw significant minutes, including Sequoia. But unlike her last outing, this afternoon, Sequoia actually drained a 3-point shot (We hope.) [revise this if necessary].

Next (returning to their regularly scheduled conference games), Maryland travels to Atlanta on Thursday to face the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech at 7 PM. GT is currently in [enter number] place in the ACC with a record of [enter numbers] (their only loss coming at the hands of Duke). So the Terps' next opponent will be no cupcake. The Jackets are a fast, athletic team that loves to press. It should be a challenging game for the Terps, who will be looking to keep their ACC win-streak alive and continue their climb up the conference standings. Unfortunately, this game will not be not televised, so the BCs will be relegated to watching those little triangular virtual players bounce and shoot on Gametracker. What fun!

Go Terps . . . Beat the Yellow Jackets!

* * * * * * * * * *

(5:41 PM) Back from the grocery shopping . . . the food's put away. So how'd we do?

Well, as we expected, Longwood was no match for Maryland. As predicted, the Terps routed the Lancers, winning by a final score of 84-38. The margin of victory would have been far greater had the Terps' starters played starter-minutes.

Also as we expected, super frosh Alyssa Thomas again reached double figures in scoring, putting up 14 points --in only 17 minutes on the court. Playing just one minute longer (18), Lynetta Kizer did indeed bounce back from her 1-point game on Friday night, scoring 15 points and grabbing 5 rebounds.

And, as they did on Friday night (and as we expected), numerous Terps made contributions to today's win. In particular, Alicia DeVaughn, off the bench, made good use of her extra playing time (23 minutes), leading all scorers with 16 points (tying her career high), and falling just shy of double-double with 9 rebounds.

We did blow it in our hopeful prediction of a basket from beyond the arc for Sequoia. While that didn't happen, Sequoia did have one very nice play where she got out on transition and finished the layup. 2 points! She was also perfect from the charity stripe, hitting both of her free throw attempts. So she had a good game even if she didn't drain a long ball.

All in all, we think we did pretty well considering that we wrote today's game report before the game even started. However, with the Terps now returning to ACC play, the games from here on out become far more unpredictable. Guess we'll just have to wait until the final buzzer to write our posts for the rest of the season!

BTW, the Terps' next opponent, Georgia Tech, now has a second loss, as they were beaten in OT this afternoon by Miami, dropping the Yellow Jackets to 6-2 in the ACC, but still ahead of the 4-2 Terps.

Friday, January 28, 2011


After a full week of work, not to mention the major hassle of getting around during and after Wednesday's storm, we weren't exactly looking forward to a trip up to College Park for a game that didn't even start until the later-than-usual hour of 8:30 PM on a Friday night. Fortunately, however, the Terps made the trip well worth our while, as they demolished the overmatched Demon Deacons of Wake Forest, 75-44, in a non-competitive, but very fun-for-the-fans game. (Unless, of course, you were among the small group of loyal -- and enthusiastic -- Deacon fans in Comcast.)

There were standout performances all across the Maryland team. Super frosh Alyssa Thomas led all scorers with 19, and notched another double-double (11 boards). Kim Rodgers, in only 16 minutes off the bench, put up 17 points, including three consecutive three-pointers during the first half that had the fans out of their seats . . . not once, not twice, but three times! Ti-Hawk also booked another double-double, or perhaps we should say another double-dozen (12 points and 12 boards). Meanwhile, Diandra rounded out the Terps' double-digit scoring with 10.

Coach B (who is never one to run up the score on an overmatched opponent) substituted liberally during the second half, going as deep into her bench as she had players. Essence entered the game with about 10 minutes left to play, and fan favorite (walk-on) Sequoia made her appearance with about four minutes to go. At that point, nearly everyone on the Maryland team had scored, and Sequoia's teammates, to the delight of the crowd, on a single possession fed her the ball five times as she tried mightily to nail a three. Alas, she was not successful, and the fans "aahed" with each miss. But she did hit a 2-point jumper soon after, drawing a standing ovation from the crowd of nearly 5,000.

Tonight was the Team Tyler Leukemia Awareness game. Many fans stopped by the Team Tyler table on the concourse to purchase T-shirts and orange and green wristbands . . . the proceeds of which will be used to support leukemia programs at Johns Hopkins. The local chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society was also represented. They shared information about the disease and about their programs with all of us who visited their table. Later, Laura Harper announced that the Team Tyler Foundation was making its first donation to Johns Hopkins . . . a check in the amount of $5,000! Really wonderful.

After dropping their first two games of the ACC season to Duke and Boston College, the Terps have now won four in a row. They take a little break from Conference play on Sunday, when Longwood comes to Comcast at 2 PM (completing the second half of a home and home started last year). If Sunday's game is half as much fun as tonight's, then everybody will be in for a good time.

Go Terps . . . Beat the Lancers!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wear Your Green!

Tomorrow (Friday) night at 8:30 PM, the Terps will host the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest at Comcast. Maryland will be hoping to maintain the momentum from their big win over the Tarheels and stretch their current 3-game ACC win streak to 4. Of course, the opportunity to rise in the standings makes this game very important.

But perhaps even more important, tomorrow is Team Tyler Leukemia Awareness Night. All Leukemia survivors are invited to attend the game for free (email Representatives from the National Capital Area Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will be at Comcast to share information and promote awareness about leukemia. The Chapter aids more than 2,500 patients and families every year. This is a great opportunity for all of us to learn more about this life-threatening disease, which, as our readers know, has struck very close to home . . . Mark and Brenda's son Tyler.

The Team Tyler Foundation will also be represented; T-shirts and awareness wristbands will be available for sale and donations will be accepted.

Even though St. Patrick's Day is still more than a month away, fans (of both teams) are encouraged to wear GREEN (in honor of Leukemia Awareness) to the game. (You may already have noticed that the players are now wearing green ribbons for Tyler on their jerseys.) Tomorrow, the Maryland coaches will be wearing green . . . and so will the BCs. Hope you'll join us in this symbolic gesture.

And even though the game will be shown on Comcast SportsNet (RSN), we hope that your streets are clear (and your car is dug out and gassed up), so that you'll be able to join us in making the trip to College Park as well. Cheering on your team live is lots more fun than watching from home.

See you tomorrow (in your green).

Go Terps . . . Beat the Deacons!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

At One Point Late in the Second Half, ESPN Announcer Rebecca Lobo commented about Maryland's 27 turnovers, saying "that's pretty horrible." But she immediately followed up her remark by observing that the Terps "made up [for the TOs] with effort."

Did they ever! What a great effort. And what a great show Maryland put on today for the national TV audience, and a great crowd at Comcast, in beating the #10/11 ranked Tarheels, 88-65.

We assume that, like the BCs, you either saw the game in person (as one of us did) or on TV (as the other did), so you know how it progressed: Maryland raced out to an early lead. UNC closed the gap somewhat, only to see the Terps respond and take a 12-point lead into the locker room at halftime. The second half was pretty much all Maryland, as that 12-point margin grew to 23 points before time expired. Maryland wins. The Terps move to 3-2 in ACC play.

Except for those horrible pesky turnovers, there wasn't much not to like about today's game. When it comes to writing about Maryland's great effort, we hardly know where to begin.

As a team, the Terps shot 47% from the field (wow), 45% from outside the arc (amazing), and an almost unbelievable 92% from the free throw line! Before the game, Coach B challenged her team to "own the glass" in their home arena, and Maryland did exactly that . . . outrebounding UNC 49-26, and 17 of those were offensive boards. Today's 88 points were a season high for the team. And, of the Terps' 30 baskets, 21 were assisted. What a total team effort!

As for individual contributions, there were so many! Super-frosh (and the BCs' overwhelming choice for ACC Rookie of the Year) Alyssa Thomas** led the Terps in scoring (16) and rebounding (13) . . . obviously another double-double. Three other Maryland starters had double-figure nights: Diandra, whose parents made the trip from Paris for the game (the first time they've seen her play on this side of the pond), had a fabulous performance that included 13 points, 6 rebounds, and probably most impressive of all, 4 highlight-reel blocks. Team leader Lynetta chipped in 12 points and 9 boards. And Anjale did a terrific job of finding her open teammates. "Bronx" finished with 11assists (a career high) and 8 points, falling just shy of a double-double.

Diandra and Her Parents

Quite a few of Anjale's passes ended up in the hands of freshmen reserves Alicia DeVaughn (12 points) and Laurin Mincy (10 points). They both had break-out nights . . . on national TV!

The ESPN team was certainly impressed with Maryland's young line up, as were we. They loved the enthusiasm, they loved the talent, they loved the effort they saw from the Terps today. We feel the same way. What's not to love about a big win, at home, over a (higher) nationally ranked ACC opponent . . . on ESPN! (Maybe those turnovers. But hey, nobody's perfect.)

Next up, the Terps play host to Wake Forest, at Comcast on Friday night at 8:30 PM. It will be hard to match the fun and excitement of today's game, but every ACC game counts the same in the standings, so it will be every bit as important. We hope to see you Friday night!

Go Terps . . . Beat the Demon Deacons!

Photo Credit: DC BasketCases

**Monday PM Update: Alyssa Thomas today picked up her FOURTH (but probably not her last) ACC Rookie of the Week Award. Congratulations, Alyssa! (Read more here and here.)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Waiting to Exhale

From the moment Diandra T launched Maryland's only successful 3-pointer of the game (with 17 seconds left in regulation) to tie the score at 69, until the moment that Virginia's Ariana Moorer launched her 3-point attempt (with 2 seconds left in overtime and Maryland leading by 2), the BCs may have taken maybe a half-dozen breaths. When Moorer's shot bounced in and then spun out, we were finally able to breathe normally again (after screaming, hugs, and high-fives of course). Maryland beats Virginia . . . in overtime, 77-75!!!

Wow, what a crazy roller-coaster of a game! Terps ahead at halftime, 34-27. Terps up by 10 in the second half (twice); Terps down by 6 with just minutes remaining. Diandra cuts the Cavs' lead to 3 with 1:36 left in regulation. And then, more heroics from Diandra. With the shot clock winding down, Frenchie lets fly with a bomb from beyond the arc . . . swish . . . Overtime!

Throughout the game, the Terps' attempts to take control were seriously hampered by foul trouble. Tianna fouled out in regulation around the 2-minute mark. And Maryland's go-to players, Alyssa and 'Netta, played most of the second half, and all of the OT, with 4 fouls. During the OT, Coach B moved players in and out on offensive and defensive possessions, trying to keep her two stars in the game. Thank goodness for Maryland's deep bench!

And then (following a couple of big early baskets by Alyssa in OT), with the game tied at 75 and 6 seconds left in the extra period, still more heroics from Diandra, who sliced to the basket for a layup, putting the Terps ahead . . . for good. Just another one of your average, hold-your-breath, edge-of-your-seat kind of games . . . that's Maryland basketball. LOL.

Out of a total of 45 minutes, Alyssa and 'Netta were only on the floor for 30 minutes and 26 minutes, respectively. The foul calls against them came early and often. But did they ever make the most of their limited minutes! Alyssa led all scorers with 18 points, and notched yet another double-double, pulling down 12 rebounds, while 'Netta added 16 points. Off the bench, Kim Rodgers put up 11 points, and was a huge spark for Maryland during the first half. Diandra finished with 9 points, and 6 blocks.

With tonight's nailbiter of a win, the Terps improve to 2-2 in the ACC standings. And they'll have the chance on Sunday to turn that into a winning record when they take on #10/11 ranked UNC at Comcast at 5:00 PM. If these early games are any indication of how exciting this ACC season is going to be, you'd have to be crazy to miss this next one against the Tarheels!

Inhale . . . exhale. Whew, what a night!

Go Terps . . . Beat the 'Heels!

Reminder: Game Night!

The Terps will be playing on the road this evening, as they take on the Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville, at the slightly-later-than-usual hour of 8:30 PM.

We're happy to report that a bus full of Rebounders will be on hand to cheer on the Maryland team. And fortunately for those of us who won't be there in person, the game will be broadcast on RSN (Comcast Sports in the D.C. area). So we can still see all the action.

Every ACC game is important, this one particularly so for Maryland, as a win would improve their conference record to .500.

And with the late evening tipoff, you'll have plenty of time to read Gene Wang's terrific article about Maryland's freshman star Alyssa Thomas in today's Washington Post, here.

Go Terps . . . Beat the Cavs!

Photo Credit: DC BasketCases

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Oh No . . . Now Mo!

Or perhaps we should say, Oh No . . . No Mo!

We wish it weren't true, but apparently it is. Confirming a rumor that's been bouncing around the message boards for the last month or so, the Mystics announced today that Monique Currie did indeed suffer a torn ACL while playing in Turkey this WNBA off-season.

Today, Mo underwent surgery at Sibley Hospital to repair the torn ligament.

As our readers know, an ACL tear is usually a season-ending injury, and the Mystics said today that it's unlikely Mo will be able to play this summer. So for the second time in two years, the Mystics have lost a starter even before the season opener. First Alana, now Mo. Aargh.

We hope the Mystics are as successful in coping with this latest set-back as they were in dealing with Alana's absence from the line-up last season.

But most of all, we hope that Mo makes a full and speedy recovery! Get well soon, Mo!

Photo Credit: DC BasketCases

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!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pick Three

Sometimes, if you haven't actually seen a game, the box score doesn't give you an accurate picture of what really happened over the course of 40 minutes and why one team won and the other team lost. Often, box scores are just a bunch of numbers from which you have to piece things together. But the BCs saw all of Maryland's ACC home opener against Boston College (in person) at Comcast tonight, and we have no problem saying that this game's box score makes it unmistakably clear why the Terps lost a game they couldn't afford to lose, 69-78.

These three stats from the Maryland half of the box score tell it all:

1. The Terps hit only 32.9% of their shots -- 28 of 85. (85 field goal attempts? When's the last time you saw a team take 85 shots? Looking at it another way, the Terps missed 57 shots tonight -- as many shots as the Eagles took in the entire game.) We guess you could say it wasn't one of Maryland's better shooting nights.

2. The Terps hit only 5% of their 3-point shots -- 1 0f 20. OMG . . . and we don't mean the good kind of OMG. We guess you could say they were a little cold from beyond the arc. (That's probably the biggest understatement since Noah stood on the deck of his ark and said "looks like we're in for a little rain.")

3. And, finally, while the Terps entered the game as a a fairly mediocre free throw shooting team, tonight "mediocre" would've been great! If the Terps had simply been "mediocre," they probably would've won. The words we overheard from (usually positive, supportive, upbeat) Maryland fans as we exited the arena about the team's free throw shooting included "horrible," "awful" and even "pathetic." At the line tonight, the Terps hit only 12 of 28. Significantly, only 5 of those points came in the 2nd half; the same half in which the Eagles scored 17 points from the line. That's a 12-point edge for BC right there. We guess you could say if any stat sealed the Terps' fate tonight, and explains how the Terps turned an 8-point half-time lead into a 9-point loss, this may be the one.

In contrast -- and to the Eagles' credit -- they made their free throws(18-22), they nailed 8 from beyond the arc, and they shot an overall 45.6% from the floor.

Both BC and Maryland entered tonight's game with identical 0-1 ACC conference records. One team was going to even their record and one team was going to fall further behind. Unfortunately, it's the Terps who ended the night still sitting at the bottom of the ACC standings. This was one they needed to win . . . and could have won. But to put it bluntly, BC executed . . . the Terps did not.

This one wasn't fun. Not for the team; not for the coaches; and not for the fans.

We know (we've seen it) that the Terps can do better. And maybe it's good that they're now hitting the road: first Clemson (3 PM on Sunday), and then Virginia (the following Friday). The road gives the team a chance to re-group, re-focus, and hopefully get back on track before facing the Tarheels next at Comcast.

Opening 0-2 is disappointing. But the season's still young. We expect to see a lot of good basketball from the Terps . . . not like what we saw tonight.

Go Terps . . . Beat the Tigers! Pleeeze . . . Beat Clemson!!!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

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!

* * * * * *

Friday Morning Oversight: In the shout-out department, the BCs were remiss in not sending one out earlier to (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, for your thoughtfulness!

Happy Birthday, Markus and Tyler!

The BCs can't remember the actual calendar date when the Thomas-Frese twins were born. (Okay, we know it was in February.) But we do remember one thing: it was the day that the Terps beat the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor 3 seasons ago. Unforgettable. So, in our minds, the twins' births and Maryland's annual road match-up against Duke are (and probably always will be) inextricably linked.

Which means that today, the day that the Terps travel to Cameron, is the 2011 anniversary of that special day. So Happy Birthday, boys! (Hope there's some cake and ice cream on your menu tonight.)

Anytime Maryland and Duke meet is a big day and a big game. But this year, today also marks the beginning of the ACC season for both teams. And if that's not enough reason to get excited about tonight's game, how 'bout the fact that Duke is currently undefeated and ranked #3 in the nation?

So yeah, it should be one heck of a battle. Maryland v. Duke; ACC opener; two ranked teams going head to head in a game that actually means something. It doesn't get much better than that!

. . . . Actually, it does. Tonight's 7 PM game will be televised on RSN (Comcast SportsNet in the DMV). So while many loyal Maryland fans are hitting the road this morning on their way to Durham, those of us who aren't (we have to work, darn it) will still be able to see the game. Yay!

Go Terps . . . Beat the Devils.

Photo Credit: Brenda Frese/Mark Thomas

Sunday, January 02, 2011

A Child Freshman Shall Lead Them

This afternoon in Philadelphia, the Terps beat a solid (10-3) St. Joe's team from the Atlantic 10. If you just look at the final score, 74-60, you would think the game was simply another easy double-digit win for Maryland. In the end (that is, the second half), it was. But in the beginning (the first half), this was yet another tight back-and-forth contest.

I guess we should be getting used to it by now. But of course we haven't. So as we listened to the St. Joe's radio announcers calling the first half of the game, we were wondering, "When are the Terps going to begin playing Maryland basketball?" Duh . . . the second half.

The fact that Maryland led at all at the end of 20 minutes (32-29) was due, to a great extent, to the impressive performance today of freshman standout Alyssa Thomas. Alyssa scored 10 points in the first half and finished with a career-high (and team-best) 22 points. It seems to the BCs, watching Alyssa so far this season, that she's a star in the making.

As for the team as a whole, after losing the battle of the boards to St. John's last Wednesday, the Terps weren't about to let that happen again. They outrebounded the Hawks 21-16 in the first half, and stretched that to a 48-30 advantage by game's end. Two Terps led the glass-cleaning effort, Diandra T and Lynetta Kizer, each of whom finished with double-doubles: Diandra (12 pts, 13 rbs) and Lynetta (11 pts, 10 rbs). And Kim Rodgers, off the bench, also added 10 points to the Terps' point total.

As we've seen (listened to, or followed on Gametracker) before, the Terps use their size, rebounding ability, and depth to wear down their opponents. And that's exactly what they used today to secure a victory over the SJU Hawks and conclude the pre-conference portion of this season's Maryland program. Easy.

But, as you already know, there should be nothing easy about the Terps' next game or their next opponent. On Thursday, Maryland opens ACC play on the road, in Cameron, against the #3/3 ranked Duke Blue Devils. What better way for one of the youngest (but extremely talented) teams in D-I basketball to measure themselves against the senior-led conference favorite! We're really looking forward to seeing this one. And luckily, it's being shown on Comcast SportsNet at 7 PM (check your local listings).

Go Terps . . . Beat Upset the Blue Devils!