"What a Win!"
That's how ESPN announcer Bob Wischusen
signed off from tonight's nationally broadcast
game between the underdog Terps
and host UVA
on ESPN2. A game that Maryland WON, 61-60
You saw it! We saw it! The young Terps beat
the #19-ranked Cavs in
network TV (in a game in which the Cav's Monica Wright broke Dawn Staley's
all-time Virginia scoring record
), and we can't say it any better than Bob
After their embarrassing loss at NC State
on Thursday, the Terps were a different road team tonight: they came out focused and composed. They held the lead for most of the game, not allowing themselves to get rattled by a slew of travel calls, nor by a half-time Hail Mary 3, nor by Cavalier runs, one of which gave the home team an opportunity for a winning shot with 3.1 seconds left on the clock. No, the young Turtles
held their ground, made shots and got stops when they had to, and left Charlottesville with their first ACC victory of the season . . . by virtue of a 1-point nailbiter.
Coach B and her assistants deserve a big round of cyber-applause for the way they prepared their players for tonight's game and helped them regroup after Thursday's depressing loss.
And, of course, all of the Terps players also deserve congratulations. But 3 Maryland players in particular had huge games tonight: Senior (but MD newbie) Lori Bjork nailed 6 of 10 three pointers (!), finished with 20 points (tying Monica Wright for game high scoring honors), and really brought some much-needed veteran leadership into tonight's contest.
Meanwhile, last season's ACC ROY Lynetta Kizer added a double-double (19 pts and 14 rebounds), as did Freshman floor general Dara Taylor (10 points and 11 assists). Dara may have fouled out in the waning minutes of the game, but she left no doubt that she's a force to be reckoned with as her career progresses through this and the 3 seasons to follow. The only Maryland player who may board the bus for home somewhat less-than-happy might be Diandra T. Tonight, Diandra was the victim of so many traveling calls (including several very questionable ones as we watched the game in HD), that her offensive game was virtually shut down, not by the team in white, orange & blue, but by the team in black & white stripes.
We have to say that we are really proud of the effort and the performance of the young ladies from College Park. Thursday's loss had to be so much harder on them than it was on their fans . . . and we know the fans took it hard. But the way they started tonight's game . . . and the way they finished tonight's game -- in full view of a national TV audience -- tells us a great deal about their character. We've said it before, and no doubt we'll say it again, we expected this season to be a bumpy ride. We saw that in Raleigh. Tonight, in Charlottesville, we saw that this team and this season can also be very exciting.
What A Win!