Thursday, December 06, 2012

Three Freshmen, a Walk-on, and a Transfer Walk Into a Bar ...

The bartender asks them, "How did you stay so cool tonight when the rest of your team fouled out?" They answered, "No problem . . . we were surrounded by fans."

Well, Chloe, Tierney, Malina, Sequoia and Katie weren't really in a bar this evening.  But with 1:44 left in the game against UVA tonight, three freshmen, one walk-on, and one transfer were the only five Maryland players still permitted to be on the court, as all three of the Terps' veterans, Alicia DeVaughn, Tianna Hawkins, and Alyssa Thomas had, indeed, fouled out.

And, quite frankly, given how whistle-happy the officials were in the second half, had the game gone on for about another minute, it's quite possible that Tierney, who had four fouls, would have fouled out as well.  The short-handed Terps came very, very close to playing 4 on 5, something we've never seen before and certainly hope we never see this season. (But it could happen.)

Fortunately, 8, 7, 6, make that 5 were enough tonight against the Cavaliers, as Maryland easily won their ACC season opener, 79-55.  The first half of the game was fun, and the half-time performance by the incredibly talented Wheaton Dance Twirlers was great, but the game's second-half foulfest made for a seemingly interminable final 20 minutes of playing time (about 75 minutes of real time).  But the good news is that Maryland is now 1-0 in the ACC.

The Terps' Dynamic Duo of Tianna Hawkins and Alyssa Thomas shared game-high scoring honors, with 20 apiece.  Each also had a double-double, 12 and 11 boards, respectively. Maryland's third veteran, Alicia DeVaughn, grabbed 10 rebounds of her own, to go along with 8 points. Of course, all three also "notched" 5 fouls and ended the game on the bench. So that left three freshman, a walk-on, and a transfer to finish out the game.

And those five did an admirable job, not just in the final minutes, but all game long.  Rookie Tierney Pfirman scored 17 points (and would've pushed her total higher if she had hit layups with the same efficiency as she hit her long-range jumpers).  PG Chloe Pavlech, who was so solid against UConn, put on another veteran-like performance  . . . 6 assists, 3 steals and only 2 TOs in 35 minutes of playing time.

With the injuries the Terps have suffered, it's going to be a challenging season for Coach B and her very short bench.  But, short bench or not, tonight we saw that this team has a will to win that is going to make them a formidable opponent for every team in the ACC.  This should be a very interesting -- and exciting -- conference season.

Next up: a non-conference game against the George Mason Patriots at 6 PM on Saturday at Comcast.  This is the first (annual?) Teddy Bear Toss game.  Bring a new Teddy Bear and throw it onto the court at half-time!  The Teddies will be given to children at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  What a great idea . . . especially now, during the holiday season!  (Petey says to tell you: "Teddies Only!  Do Not Throw Any Pandas!")

Go Terps . . .  Beat the Patriots!


At 11:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Impossible to say how the season will unfold, but this team is easy to love and support. Great effort, everybody!


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