Terps women find comfort zone Switch of defenses triggers 83-54 win

December 13, 1992|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- Given the choice between taking a couple of teaspoons of cod liver oil and having her team play zone defense, Maryland women's basketball coach Chris Weller would probably ask for the spoon every time.

But the seventh-ranked Terps owe yesterday's 83-54 rout of Old Dominion to that nasty piece of defensive medicine, the matchup zone.

Tied at halftime and trailing by four with 15:29 left in the game, Weller held her nose and swallowed hard, gambling that a defense with senior center Jessie Hicks and junior Bonnie Rimkus, both 6 feet 4, on the wings would pay dividends.

And it did. Maryland (4-1) went on to outscore the Monarchs 46-13 the rest of the way.

"We thought they were a good outside shooting team and we'd have to play them in man," said Weller. "But we had to go to zone, and luckily, it worked."

The Terps, who limited Old Dominion (0-2) to 21-percent shooting in the second half, played spectacularly on defense, forcing 32 turnovers and clamping down both inside and outside, then heading the other way for easy baskets.

"Our intensity in the second half was minimal," said Old Dominion coach Wendy Larry. "We got frustrated by the big zone and then Maryland put on an organized transition clinic."

Hicks, a preseason All-America selection, had another fine game with 13 points and 10 rebounds, but the heavy damage was done by her frontcourt mates, Rimkus and junior forward Michele Andrew, who each had 20 points.

Andrew kept Maryland going in the first half with 10 points, when the Terps were out-rebounded 25-13 and 10-4 on the offensive glass.

The Terps, ranked as high as third nationally in preseason polls, have not yet played a crisp end-to-end game, as they've struggled to find a lineup that works.

Yesterday was no exception as Weller benched swing player Katrina Colleton, her second-leading scorer, and Karon Ferguson, who had started three of the first four games at point guard, in favor of sophomore forward Kesha Camper and freshman guard Lena Patterson.

The results were mixed: Colleton came off the bench for 14 points and Ferguson had 10 assists, but Camper only scored six points and Patterson was blanked.

With a nine-day break for final exams, Weller is still scrambling for the right combination.

"I have no idea. I wish I knew," said Weller. "We're still struggling with a pattern. We've got to get into a situation where we're setting the tempo."

The start of the game was delayed by 90 minutes as the southern Virginia-based officiating crew got the tip-off time mixed up.

The Maryland players passed the time by singing and throwing the ball around the locker room, while their coach scrambled to find substitute referees.

"I was in my office calling anybody I could think of. I've been in coaching 18 years and I've never been through anything like that before," said Weller.

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