If you've never been in McDonough Arena, it's about the size of a high school gym (and an old and small one, at that). McDonough's
What an atmosphere! Red Maryland fans on one side; the Hoyas pep band and Gray fans on the other. Cheering, clapping, foot stomping, from both sides. The crowd was so loud and enthusiastic that more than one Terps fan commented that it felt more like a match between ACC rivals than the early season, out-of-conference game that it was.
And for now at least, the DMV bragging rights belong to the Hoyas. Georgetown topped the Terps at home, 53-45. If you didn't see it, don't let the low score fool you. This was ugly, but still a hard-fought, punch-counterpunch kind of game. And to the credit of the Hoyas, they landed the last couple of blows.
The Terps had chances . . . plenty of them. Taking nothing away from Georgetown, this, in our opinion, was a winnable game for Maryland. Nothing was falling for the visitors from beyond the arc; lay-ups and put-backs were rolling out (shooting percentages were abysmal); early foul trouble for a couple of the Terps' freshmen standouts (Alyssa and Alicia); officiating calls were all over the place (but that's nothing unusual); turnovers (particularly in the second half) came early and often. The Hoyas' aggressive style of play was responsible for much of this, but the Terps had opportunities that they squandered. Yet they still made a game of it. No quit.
The Terps have to be disappointed in tonight's performance . . . and their fans are disappointed for them. But we know this team has so much talent, and we know that tonight's loss is something they can learn from and grow from. It's only the second game of the regular season, and Georgetown was a higher-ranked and formidable opponent. So yes, we're disappointed, but also still very excited and hopeful about the rest of the season.
And we're especially excited about the possibility that Maryland-Georgetown could evolve into another great rivalry in women's college basketball. Two great schools -- practically neighbors -- battling for local supremacy each year! Wouldn't that be fun? Next year, the Hoyas will be the guest of the Terps . . . that much we know for sure. And hopefully what started tonight will become a circle-it-on-the-calendar game for many more years to come. Wouldn't that be great!
Next up: On Thursday, the Terps get an opportunity to avenge last season's embarrassing loss at Towson, when they host the Tigers at Comcast at 7 PM.
Photo Credit: DC BasketCases