Terps women KO'd by Florida, 77-57

Foul trouble ends UM's improbable WNIT run

March 22, 2000|By Brandon Zimmerman | Brandon Zimmerman,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Maryland coach Chris Weller called the Terps' trip to the WNIT quarterfinals a "bonus."

The only problem against Florida last night was that her team was unable to keep the Gators out of the bonus as the foul-plagued Terps fell, 77-57, before 1,310 at the O'Connell Center.

Maryland, which had won two WNIT games before last night, ended its season at 16-15, while Florida (20-12) advanced to the tournament semifinals.

"This [WNIT] was a bonus for us," said Weller, whose team rebounded from a 6-21 season last year. "For us, that's how we approached it."

Maryland's 13 first-half fouls helped Florida control the game.

Terps forward Deedee Warley picked up her second foul at the 15: 28 mark in the first half and was never a factor after that.

Warley picked up her third foul two minutes into the second half and finished with six points on 2-for-11 shooting.

The Gators responded by pounding the ball inside to forward Tonya Washington (16 points) and center Tamara Stocks (12 points).

"They went inside a little too easily," Weller said. "Fouls controlled the game completely."

Maryland trailed, 41-35, at halftime.

"This was just great for a young team to experience," Weller said. "We didn't have the credentials to get into the NCAA tournament, but I thought we represented ourselves quite well [in the WNIT]."

Sophomore Marche Strickland paced the Terps with a game-high 27 points on 11-for-25 shooting. Sophomore Rosita Melbourne added 10 points and 11 rebounds, her third career double double.

"I played all right," Strickland said. "But I could have played better at certain points."

Strickland had only two rebounds as the Terps were outrebounded, 47-35. Maryland shot 36 percent, while Florida hit 46 percent from the field. Florida is 20-4 this season when it scores more than 70 points.

"I thought we came back strong this year," Strickland said.

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