Terps women see no point in 3-pointer Weller, players stick to inside formula

February 05, 1993|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- As with nearly everything else in life, there are two ways to look at the three-point shot.

There is the view among many coaches, such as Kentucky's Rick Pitino, that the three-pointer is a welcome addition to a team's arsenal that can yield additional offensive opportunities.

And then there are those such as Maryland women's basketball coach Chris Weller, who see the three-pointer as a nice thing to have around, but not necessarily crucial to your fortunes.

So, while some would see Maryland's 67-65 loss to Wake Forest on Tuesday and their 8-0 deficit in three-pointers as proof positive that the bonus shot works, Weller sees it a bit differently.

"We have to do a better job on the defensive end so we can run with the ball. Our post defense was not as sharp as it should have been," said Weller.

While it is true that Deacon center Tracy Connor scored a game-high 29 points, it's also true that the Terps took only two three-point shots the entire game.

Both came from designated three-point shooter Bonnie Rimkus and the second came with less than five seconds left in the game.

The Terps, who play host to Duke tonight at Cole Field House, have taken 72 three-pointers this year and made 18, at a success rate of 25 percent.

For an offense that is averaging nearly 78 points a game, and has five players averaging in double figures, the lack of three-point production hardly seems a problem.

"We have to key on the defensive end. I'm not worried about the offense," said Weller.

But Maryland center Jessie Hicks, the focus of the Terps offense, has struggled in the last two weeks. She scored just two points in the 40-point win over North Carolina State last Saturday, while getting just 10 points Tuesday.

Part of the reason for Hicks' slump is that opposition defenses are collapsing on her in tight zones and daring Maryland to beat them from the perimeter.

"It [more outside shooting] would make it a little easier and would open up the inside game," said Hicks.

But, save for Rimkus and reserve guard Monica Bennett, who have nearly half the team's three-point attempts, no Terp has shown a great inclination to put up the bonus shot.

"I've taken some before and I practice them a little, but I practice a lot more inside the arc. I'm not going to go in a game and do something I don't practice," said guard Malissa Boles, who is two of eight from three-point range.

"The offense is geared to getting close shots, and shots that are higher percentage," said guard Katrina Colleton. "There are times when we could get outside shots, but we don't see it as that significant."

Indeed, during the last five years, the Terps have made the NCAA tournament every season and advanced to the Final Four once and to the regional finals two other times while concentrating on punching the ball into the middle to first Vicky Bullett and now Hicks.

"I mean, if you have a potential all-America center, you try to get them the ball," said Boles. "If anything, we need to work harder to get her the ball."

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