Our House is a Very Very Very Fine House . . .
Tonight's re-match between the Terps
and the Virginia Cavaliers
was in many respects similar
to the game played nearly two weeks ago by these two teams down at UVA. Each game featured a tightly contested first half, with Maryland taking a small lead into the locker room. And tonight, as in Charlottesville, it was the second half where the game was won . . . or lost
. In each case, the home
team broke the game open in the final 20 minutes and marched to a convincing win. Fortunately, tonight, the home team was Maryland, and the Terps won, 94-78
As they did on Monday night against Boston College
, and as Coach B
is fond of saying, seniors Kristi Toliver
and Marissa Coleman
"put the team on their backs" . . . as well as put on quite a show
for the large, loud and enthusiastic Maryland crowd (not to mention the WNBA scouts in the house). Marissa
, who led all scorers
with 28 points, also pulled down 7 boards, dished out 6 assists, stole 4 balls, blocked 2, and had only 1 turnover. She created her own shots, battled for rebounds and loose balls, rallied her young troops, and ended up bloodied and cramping. (She even performed a PG-rated strip-tease.) And in the process, Marissa
passed the legendary Terp (and now Mystics
Assistant Coach) Vicky Bullett
to move into second place
on the Terps' all-time leading scoring list (behind Crystal Langhorne
, of course!). Kristi "Big Play" Toliver
again played all 40 minutes, and also outscored every player on Virginia's roster with 25 points of her own. She also became only the fourth player in ACC history
to hand out more than 700 assists. Simply put, Marissa
, Big time
-- and a joy to watch.
Dee Liles and Lynetta Kizer were big contributors as well, both scoring in double figures (12 and 11 points, respectively). And despite battling the flu, Dee not only scored, but cleaned the glass, grabbing 13 rebounds for another double-double. These two first-year Terps are growing stronger with every game, and clearly helping to fill the void left by the graduation of Lang and Harp.
Tonight's win was the 31st in a row at home for Maryland -- quite an impressive streak! But the Terps will be tested on Sunday, when they host Rutgers
at Comcast at 1 PM and will be looking to avenge last season's loss to the Scarlet Knights at the RAC. In order to extend their home winning streak, the Terps will need to maintain their composure against a team well known for its relentless defense. Rutgers is one of those teams that has the ability to make even the best teams look ugly. So Wear Pink
, exercise your vocal cords, and come ready for a classic battle between offense and defense. See you Sunday!