Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat!

The Officially Unofficial Pre-game Photo of the Terps and USA National Team

In recognition of Halloween, Lisa Leslie and other members of the National Team took time before the tip-off to pass out candy to fans

In keeping with Halloween tradition, many fans -- young and old (see below) -- turned up in costume.

Will the real pregnant Coach B please raise her hand?

Charlie Brown also made an appearance.

Freshman Marah Strickland got her first start . . . an impressive one . . .and Jade Perry filled in for injured All-American Crystal Langhorne

Freshman Drey Mingo (here shooting a FT) may have been a 7-year-old when Lisa Leslie won her first Olympic Gold, but tonight she played like a veteran! Maryland's third rookie, Kat Lyons, also played well, launching -- and hitting -- a couple from downtown!

The present (Sue Bird) and the future (Kristi Toliver)

Mike Thibault: "Hey Drey, how 'bout you skip college and sign with the Connecticut Sun?"

After the game, fans were invited to an autograph session with a few players from each team (Crystal Langhorne and Drey Mingo pictured here) as well as Mystics' WNBA All-Star Alana Beard, who, like Crystal, is counting the days until she can get back on the court.

As for the game . . . The National Team won, which was of course expected (they are the best team in the world, aren't they?). But the (Langhorne-less) Terps made a terrific showing and can only feel good about their effort. Indeed, the National Team was only up by 2 at halftime. Laura Harper in fact led all scorers (yes, all scorers) with 20, and was a force on both ends of the floor. With two WNBA head coaches, one WNBA GM and at least one WNBA scout in attendance, Laura certainly made an impression that should pay dividends come draft-time next April. Marissa Coleman was everywhere, and had a monster block against WNBA All-Star Seimone Augustus. And Kristi Toliver not only showed off her three-point shooting skills (she hit four from behind the arc), she also showed tremendous presence and leadership at the point, prompting Diana Taurasi to say:

"At the end of the game, I turned to Sue Bird and I told her that's the best point guard in college right now. I don't think anyone can control a game like she can with her scoring and her ability to push the ball up the floor, and get people open. She's a very tough player, she really is."

The rest of the Terps also played extremely well. Jade Perry, although giving up about a foot to USA center Katie Feenstra, hung tough on defense. And the freshmen? The BasketCases just can't say enough good things about them. What an auspicious beginning for the college careers of Drey, Marah, and Kat!

And what a truly wonderful and fun start to the season.

Photo Credits: DC BasketCases


At 5:48 AM, Blogger AAEmotion said...

Big ups from DT there for Kristi. It's a pity my internet is too crappy to handle the web cast of the game, it sounded like it was fun times for every one.

At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Basketcases, for making those of us who didn't attend feel like part of the party! I really liked the shot of the three blondes!!!

At 2:37 PM, Blogger fr mike said...

Triplets??? Great pictures and commentary. Thanks

At 9:46 PM, Blogger posting-up said...

What a great night of basketball! I kept thinking (and probably said out loud several times!), "If the Terps play this hard all season, no one will be able to stop them!" They looked fabulous in the first half! Second half, I think USA just ground them down.

The freshmen were a delight! Welcome to Maryland B-ball, kids!

At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened to Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood?

At 9:52 PM, Blogger xwomynjoc said...

She's still healing her knees after surgery last April for tendonitis. If you look at the team's photo, she is front row center wearing #2.

At 12:27 AM, Blogger AAEmotion said...

I was just looking at some photos of the game from a friend on facebook, does any one know the reason behind the black tape on their jerseys?

I dunno if it means the same thing in the US as it does here or not, but can any one clarify?

At 8:34 PM, Blogger AAEmotion said...

Oh, and just as an aside, "As for the game . . . The National Team won, which was of course expected (they are the best team in the world, aren't they?)"

No, actually, Australia currently are ;). And technically, CSKA Moscow are one up too.


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