Thursday, February 16, 2012

Maybe It Was Being Named ACC Player-of-the Week on Monday. Or perhaps it was being selected by the U.S. Basketball Writers Ass'n on Tuesday as National Player-of-the-Week. In any event, Tianna Hawkins began tonight's game in Charlottesville on a mission.

T-Hawk scored 15 points and pulled down 10 boards in the first half . . . to lead her team to a 44-21 halftime lead, on the way to a 73-56 road win for Maryland over UVA. Oh Yeah!

The Cavs may have outscored the Terps in the second half, but this one really was over at the break: the Terps shot 55.3% from the floor in the first period and had a 23-point lead (prompting the Virginia radio announcers to call Maryland's game "an efficient buzzsaw"), they also out-rebounded the 'Hoos, 27-6, and T-Hawk had a double-double . . . all by intermission. Over. In the second half, while the Cavs played hard and at one point narrowed the gap to 11, the Terps were never really threatened.

Maryland's Secret Agent, Tianna, finished with 26 points (a new career high!) on 12 of 13 shooting, and pulled down 14 boards. Super Soph Alyssa Thomas also posted a double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) . . . although it took her until the second half to hit the double-digit marks.

The players and the coaches aren't the only red people heading back to College Park tonight. The Rebounders sent a full bus load of fans to John Paul Jones Arena, and we know that some other fans traveled to Charlottesville on their own. For all these travelers, their loyal fan-dom was rewarded with a big win. No doubt they'll be smiling all the way home.

Tonight's game was the second meeting between Maryland and Virginia this season. In the first, at Comcast, the Terps won by only 7 points (68-61). What the BCs particularly loved about tonight's game was the fact that the Terps dominated from the opening minutes. That, to us, says a lot about this Maryland team. And, with Duke arriving at Comcast on Sunday, we hope that the second meeting between these two teams ends as happily for the Terps (and their fans) as tonight's did.

The Blue Devils are undefeated (to date) in the ACC. Sunday will be a tough game. So, regardless of the weather (what's a little "wintery mix" anyway?), come out to Comcast. Wear Red. Cheer -- loud and often -- for the Terps!

Go Maryland . . . Beat Duke

Tonight's game was also special because it was Coach Frese's 300th win! Congratulations, Coach B! (And tomorrow is a special day as well . . . Markus and Tyler turn 4. Happy Birthday to the Little Guys!)


At 7:19 AM, Anonymous Marcie said...

Just asking - will this blog cover the Mystics, or have you dropped them?
I was checking to see if you had some comment about Laura Harper being added to the Stics roster, and the re-signing of Crystal, but... [crickets chirping]

At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hawkins is a beast! She plays with so much fight and energy. I love it. And she can finish!! 20 turnovers by the team though... We will need those possessions on Sunday.

At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hawkins is our most improved player. Credit to her and the coaches.

At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Brenda has done so well with Tianna and Tianna has worked so hard with a great attitude. As Brenda said she may have two great options in her future - WNBA or the Secret Service. Hope we can get Mincy - Barrett - Kizer going and we will be tough to beat.

At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon at 7:43: Yes, my jaw dropped when I saw that we had 20 turnovers--not to mention shooting 1 for 11 from 3-pt range.

Given the conversation in the previous thread about Maryland's ability to protect the ball, I checked our turnover stats, and they're not pretty. We're the first column and our opponents are the second:

2003-4 17.9 17.7
2004-5 17.0 17.2
2005-6 18.1 16.1
2006-7 18.3 15.7
2007-8 17.4 14.8
2008-9 16.4 14.7
2009-10 19.0 15.4
2010-11 19.0 19.2
2011-12 16.1 15.2

As you can quickly see, only rarely over the past decade have we averaged fewer turnovers/game than our opponents.

At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...'s what keeps MD from being an elite team. I'm convinced of that. The talent is clearly there. I'm curious what UNCONN, Baylor and Stanford's stats are as well as Duke's.

At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For Anon 12:56: UConn this year is at 14.7/game, while their opponents turn it over at the rate of 21.0/game; for Stanford, it's 12.7 vs. 14.4; Baylor 14.2 vs 15.7; Duke 17.3 vs. 22.2. And Notre Dame is at 16.6 vs 23.9.

Turnovers clearly aren't the whole story: witness our NCAA championship year of 2006. (We did better during the 2006 NCAA tournament than during the regular year--and would have had a lot better tournament average were it not for our 26 turnovers during the semifinal against the Tarheels.)

My sense is that turnover average is something of a barometer of the ability to execute fundamentals. Great shooters/scorers can mask problems in execution, but being in the hunt regularly at the end of every season depends on having the discipline to execute the fundamentals, half after half, game after game. I think that's what separates the great from the very good.

At 7:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well stated anon 4:22pm and great info on the other teams. Thank you.

Oh well, GO TERPS--Beat DUKE!

At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just as a follow-on to yesterday's pieces w/stats: St. John's broke UConn's home winning streak at 99 games yesterday. St. John's had 9 turnovers, UConn 18.

At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, 18 turnovers won't work usually when the other team takes care of the ball. Lost by 1. Kind of like the Terps losing to Miami by only 2 even though we had a gazillion more turnovers.


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