A Lucky Number
A friendly asylum for a couple of crazy DC-area women's basketball fans, where we share some news, some opinions, as well as a little of almost anything else that our demented minds dredge up having to do with the WNBA, the Maryland Terrapins, or any other team, player or character associated with the world of women's hoops.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
The BCs are just funnin' with ya . . . not bye, bye, Maryland . . . as in Goodbye to Maryland. But Bye! Bye! The Terps got a Bye in the first round of this week's ACC Tournament! Yay!
Two things had to happen this afternoon -- the final day of the regular season -- in order for the Terps to leap frog over Georgia Tech and UNC to move from 6th to 4th in the ACC. First, the Terps had to beat Boston College on the road at Conte Forum in their 1 PM game. Then, if the Maryland team succeeded in doing what they could control, the Terps would need an assist from Miami, who was playing at Georgia Tech (that game starting at 2 PM). If both visiting teams won, the Terps would gain that coveted final bye. Only 4 of the 12 teams in the Conference get a free pass to avoid having to play on Thursday. And the Terps were hoping, by around 4 PM today, to be the proud owners of one of those Get-Out-Of-Playing-Thursday-Free cards!! And they are!
First, the Terps beat the Eagles, 78-69. (And in doing so, they helped assuage some of the angst we were feeling about that harmonic convergence of horribleness earlier in the season, when BC escaped Comcast with a surprising win.)
Once the Terps took care of business in Boston (a favorite city for Maryland fans), all we could do was wait for the end of the Miami-GT game. Miami was up by 1 point at the half (too close for comfort) when the Terps' game ended. The 'Canes stretched their lead during the final period, only to have the Yellow Jackets pull closer again. The wait was agonizing. Finally, though, Miami closed it out, 70-59, completing the visiting team sweep that Maryland needed. Thank you, Coach Katie & Co.! #4 and a Bye!
We followed both games on GameTracker, watching those little colored figures run up and down the court. It's hard to get much of a feel for a game that way, but from reviewing the stats, here's our take on how Maryland earned that oh-so-important W:
All five Maryland starters had double-digit afternoons. After a slower than usual start (3 points on 1 of 8 shooting in the first half), super frosh Alyssa Thomas roared back in the final period to finish the game leading all Maryland scorers with 17 points (and 9 rebounds, just 1 shy of a double-double). Kim Rodgers (who got the start today over Ti-Hawk) was right behind with 16 points, including 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. One of her long balls was a buzzer beater that ended the first half and sent her team to the locker room at the break with great momentum. Anjale Barrett had a big scoring game, 15 points, and Lynetta Kizer, who was a huge factor in keeping the Terps in the game during the first 20 minutes (11 first half points), finished with 14. The fifth Terps starter, Diandra T, scored in the single digits (7), but led her team with 10 rebounds.
So that's how it was done. Now it's bye bye Comast North and hello Greensboro . . . which we hope, thanks to the expected migration of red people, will once again turn into Comcast South.
Go Terps! Beat . . . uuhh . . .Tech!
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Doing the Hokie Pokey
Okie Dokie, the Terps beat the Hokies at Comcast tonight, 61-48. That's the good news. But this wasn't the game the BCs were expecting. Hardly.
When the last place team in the conference comes into your house sporting a 1-11 record, and your team is the #15/17-ranked team in the nation, you really don't expect the game to be tied with fewer than 12 minutes left. But it was, 33-33. (From where we sat, across the court, it looked like Coach B's ears were getting a little smokie at her team being tied this late in the game with the Hokies.)
Monday, February 21, 2011
SIX is Special!!!
A HUGE congratulations to Alyssa Thomas, who today was named ACC Rookie of the Week . . . for the sixth time this season! With this week's well-deserved honor, super frosh Alyssa has now broken the Maryland school record for the most ever ACC Rookie of the Week honors.
To put this accomplishment in perspective: Crystal Langhorne and Marissa Coleman (two pretty darn good ballers in the BCs' opinion) shared the previous record . . . each was named ACC Rookie of the Week (just) five times. (Both went on to win the ACC's Rookie of the Year award, as did the Terps' current team leader, Lynetta Kizer.)
While Alyssa's latest Rookie of the Week accolade is hardly a surprise, it is still very special!
Photo Credit: DC BasketCases
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Following Thursday's big win over the Blue Devils, Maryland arrived in Tallahassee with a very real opportunity to knock off its second top-of-the-conference team in the span of just 4 days. But today, somewhere between the first 5 minutes or so of the first half and the last 5 minutes or so of the second half, the Terps lost their way (as well as the opportunity), and fell to #12/15-ranked FSU, 72-66.
In the other 30 minutes (give or take some), Maryland was outplayed by the 'Noles. The Terps missed lay-ups, missed free throws, shot poorly from beyond the arc, turned the ball over at inopportune times, and got very little scoring help (only 7 points) from their usually reliable bench. Missed opportunities all over.
The Seminoles didn't earn a higher ranking, and they didn't win 9 of their 11 ACC contests before today, without being a very good and very talented team. No question that some of Maryland's missed chances have to be credited to the tough play of FSU. But for quite a few more of those missed chances, the Terps have only themselves to blame. They know, as do their fans who watched the game (in high-def) on ESPN2, that Maryland had a good opportunity to pull off the upset . . . but didn't.
For those readers who may not have seen today's game, here's a brief synopsis: Maryland raced out to an early lead, in part due to very poor shooting by FSU. The 'Noles took the lead with about 7-1/2 minutes left in the first half (22-24), led the Terps by 8 at the break (28-36), and then stretched their lead to 12 in the final period, before Maryland put on a charge in the late-going, closing the gap to as little as 4 points. But no closer . . . too little, too late.
Super frosh and workhorse Alyssa Thomas led all scorers in the losing effort, with a career-high 26 points (and played all but 1 minute of the game). Lynetta Kizer (battling the flu according to the ESPN announcers) played only 25 minutes, but still managed to notch another double-double, with 17 points and 10 boards.
Unfortunately, the other noteworthy stats help explain today's loss. The Terps, mediocre all season from the free throw line, were even worse than mediocre today, hitting only 45.8% (11 of 24), while FSU succeeded on 22 of 31 attempts from the charity stripe (71%). Maryland also turned the ball over 16 times, and made only 3 of 13 three-pointers (23.1%).
With only two games left in the regular season, Maryland missed a major opportunity today to move up in the conference standings, and possibly secure a bye in the first round of play at Greensboro. It may still be possible to get a bye (we confess that we haven't done the math), but it's certainly less probable after today's loss.
In any event, a win today would've given this young team real momentum heading into the final days of the regular season and then the ACC Tournament. But that opportunity was lost. They can restart their Mo by beating Virginia Tech at Comcast on Thursday at 7:30 PM (Senior-less night) before they hit the road for a rematch in Boston against the Eagles, who beat them at Comcast earlier this season.
Go Terps . . . Beat the Hokies!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Most kids celebrate turning 3 with cake, ice cream, and some new toys. But if you're the twin sons of Maryland Head Coach Brenda Frese and her husband, Mark Thomas, and today is your 3rd birthday -- and Mom's team is playing Duke -- well, there's another present you'd like as well (the very same one the Terps gave you and your Mom on the day you were born) . . . a win over the Blue Devils. And the Maryland team did not disappoint Markus and Tyler (or their Mom) today on the twins' birthday, delivering not only a win over Duke at Comcast tonight, but a crushing victory, 69-47. Happy Birthday indeed!!
In the first few minutes of the game, a blowout by the Terps was the furthest thing from our minds, as Maryland quickly fell behind, 0-7. But tough defense enabled the Terps to gradually claw their way back from that inauspicious start. In a low-scoring first half, Maryland managed to take an 8-point lead into the locker room at the break, 27-19.
As the final period got underway, the Terps built on that lead, stretching their margin to 12. However, a Duke run closed the gap to a single point. But that's as close as the Devils got. With the score at 39-38, Maryland dug in, went on a tear, and simply ran away with the game. To say that the more than 10,000 fans on hand (minus a smattering of Dukies) were thrilled, excited and enjoying themselves . . . would be an understatement.
Maryland's deep bench was a huge factor tonight. No Maryland starter played more than 27 minutes, while four of Duke's starters played between 32 and 36 minutes. The Terps' starters got more rest, thanks to Maryland's outstanding reserves, and it showed in the starters' performances. Playing only 27 minutes, Lynetta Kizer led all scorers with 17 points, and nabbed 9 rebounds and 3 steals (with no turnovers). Super frosh Alyssa Thomas outscored each of the two Duke Thomases, including Duke senior star Jasmine Thomas. In 26 minutes, Alyssa had yet another double-double, 15 points and 10 rebounds. (Jasmine Thomas led her team with 12 points in 34 minutes.) Ti-Hawk rounded out the Terps' double-digit scoring, with 10. And although she finished with only 2 points, Dara Taylor, off the bench, in 13 minutes of playing time, did a stellar job of harassing Duke's Jasmine Thomas on defense, while also taking care of the basketball on offense (zero TOs!). As is usually the case when Maryland records a big win, the key to the victory was a total team effort by the Terps' talented, athletic, and deep line-up.
Any time you knock off the #1 team in your conference (ranked #7 in the nation!), and you do it in front of a huge turnout of home fans, and you hold that team to fewer than 50 points, and that team just happens to be Duke . . . well, it just feels like your birthday, New Year's, and the 4th of July all rolled into one! So Happy Birthday . . . we definitely enjoyed tonight's fireworks! Way to go, Terps!
Photo Credit: DC BasketCases
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
These days, when sports teams win championships, there's always lots of hoopla and celebration, and usually some serious bling involved. But what championship teams take for granted today, wasn't always so.
Back in 1978, Maryland's Basketball Team had the great honor of winning the first ever ACC Women's Basketball Championship. But honor (and a place in history) was, in fact, all that they received -- no bling. To be more specific: no rings.
As the years went by and members of that history-making team cheered on newer champions --players who were honored with t-shirts, hats, banners and rings -- not having a ring of their own, well, it rankled. So a few years ago, '78 team member Liz Abood decided to do something about it. And thanks to her efforts, which you can read about here, this decades-long slight will be rectified tomorrow, Sunday, at Comcast Center, when the 1978 players will -- finally -- receive their long overdue ACC Championship rings during halftime of the Terps' game against Virginia.
After only 33 years, these champions will finally get their bling! Wow . . . this just has to be one of the BEST halftimes EVER!
Congratulations (again) to the '78 Terps! We hope their presence on the court tomorrow will be an inspiration to this year's team. What better reminder of the great tradition that is Maryland Basketball.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
A Tale of Two
Maryland's 7-game win streak came to an end tonight in Miami, 83-75. The Hurricanes, who haven't lost at home all season, still haven't. And the Terps, who entered the game tied for 4th in the ACC, now head back to College Park tied with Georgia Tech for 5th. In other words, not a good day for Maryland.
But "not a good day" doesn't even begin to describe the Terps' performance (or lack thereof) in the first half of tonight's match-up. In the first 20 minutes, Maryland committed 20 turnovers (no that's not a typo) . . . one turnover per minute. And those 20 TOs led to 20 points for Miami. 20 TOs in an entire game generally makes for a bad outing. But 20 in a single half? (Holy hurricane, Batman, it's a Category 5!) It was so bad that, according to GameTracker, redshirt freshman Whitney Bays was even credited with a TO! The 'Canes took 38 shots in the first 20 minutes; Maryland (by virtue of giving the ball away) took a measly 22. Half-time score, 45-31 in favor of Miami.
Miami has a great backcourt; let's give credit where credit is due. But forcing 20 turnovers great? A 38-22 shot advantage great? We didn't see it; we followed the little figures on GameTracker. So how much was great backcourt play by Miami and how much was Maryland mistakes? Hard to say.
But what we can say is that a very different Maryland team emerged from the locker room after the break. The same team that coughed up the ball 20 times in the first half only gave it away a stingy 3 times in the final 20 minutes. The Terps who took only 22 shots in the first period took 35 in the second (hitting 57%), while only allowing the 'Canes 27 tries (with only a 40% success rate).
Maryland's second half effort was remarkable. The Terps battled back to close that 14-point 1st period deficit to just 2 points within the final few minutes of the game. But, in the end, the hole the Terps found themselves in at halftime was just too deep. For once, there were no miraculous final minute heroics. No last second salvation for Maryland. Just an "L" in the win/loss column.
As for individual performances, five Terps put up double-figures in tonight's losing effort, including ACC Player of the Week Lynetta Kizer, who had a double-double (15 points and 11 boards), and Ti-Hawk, who also had a double-double (12 points, 10 boards). Kimmie (11), Anjale and Alyssa (each with 10) also finished in double figures. We're sure they'd all rather have had a win than any individual stat highlights.
With just a few weeks left now in the regular season, the Terps return home to College Park, where they will face a (tougher-than-their-record) Virginia team on Sunday at 2 PM. Let's hope this is the start of a new Maryland win streak. The Terps cannot afford to lose to the Cavs if they have any hope of getting a bye in the first round of next month's ACC Tournament.
Go Terps . . . Beat the 'Cavs!
Sunday, February 06, 2011
Thursday, February 03, 2011
Though the Terps' game at Georgia Tech tonight wasn't televised or webcast, there was a live radio feed, so the BCs got to listen. And thanks to the fast-talking GT announcer (from WREK.com), we got the gist. Our general impression: it wasn't the prettiest of games.
Despite some early foul trouble and 11 turnovers in the first half, Maryland was able to take a 7-point lead into the locker room at the break, 27-20. But the Terps were undone by their TOs in the second half (15!), and with 17:10 left, the Yellow Jackets took their first lead of the game. But one thing we know: the Terps never quit. (Remember Purdue? Remember UVA?) Maryland clawed its way back from a 5-point deficit, and with 2:12 left in the game, Maryland led by a single point, 53-52.
And then the lights went out in Georgia. Literally.
No lights, no scoreboard, no nothing. A power surge in the arena had momentarily knocked out all the electronics. It took about 15 minutes for the lights to warm up after that, with a total game delay in excess of 20 minutes. So much for Maryland's momentum!
The stoppage in play was so long that the teams had to go through their warmups all over again. After play resumed, the Terps went cold for 2:10 seconds . . . unable to score, even from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech managed to tie the score at 53. So with 1.6 seconds left and Maryland inbounding the ball, it looked like this already-too-long game was headed for overtime.
But no! With 1.2 seconds left on the clock, Kim Rodgers launched a three . . . and it was good! The WREK.com radio announcer was such a, uhmm, wreck, he couldn't even tell us for several minutes who had hit the shot. But we later learned it was Kimmie . . . her only 3-pointer of the night. Before that, she was 0-3 from beyond the arc. Kim's timing could not have been better! Maryland wins, 56-53! What a heart-stopper of an ending!
Only two Terps were in double figures tonight . . . the usual suspects. Lynetta Kizer led all scorers with 19 points, while super frosh Alyssa Thomas was close behind, with 17. (BTW, Alyssa picked up her 5th ACC Rookie-of-the-Week award on Monday. Congrats Alyssa!)
With tonight's win, the Terps improve to 5-2 in the ACC. And since Miami lost to Duke this evening and Maryland handed Georgia Tech another loss, the Terps (for the moment at least) have now climbed to 5th place in the conference standings. Though the Devils sit alone at the top, there are 5 more teams bunched up and vying to be one of the top four teams, as each earns a bye in the first round of next month's ACC Tournament. So every game down the stretch is critical.
Next up for Maryland is a noon match on Sunday at Comcast against NC State. It's an early tip-off, so we can catch all the action and still make it to our Super Bowl parties in plenty of time!
Go Terps . . . Beat the Wolfpack!
Photo Credit: ACC via Twitter
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Here's what Alexandria looked like then . . .
Average Egyptians, enjoying a comfortable sunny day along the Mediterranean.
In our brief sojourn in Egypt, we saw for ourselves a land of extraordinary contrasts. All around, some of the most famous and stunning wonders of the Ancient World. It was a trip we will never forget.
But we also saw the signs of abject poverty. People eating fish from a polluted, garbage-and-dead-animal-strewn tributary of the Nile. People living in mud hovels, multiple families sharing a single (unsanitary) hand pump for their water. Meanwhile, we saw the homes of the wealthy, living in opulence in beautiful buildings.
... and with bicycles, and cattle.
Photo Credits: DC BasketCases