COLLEGE PARK - The Maryland's women's basketball season received a major setback yesterday when it was learned that 6-foot-4 freshman forward Laura Harper will be lost for the rest of the season with an Achilles' tendon injury in her left ankle.
Harper, the Atlantic Coast Conference's leading rebounder (9.8 a game) and the team's third-leading scorer (13.2), suffered the injury in practice Monday night, coach Brenda Frese announced last night. Harper will undergo surgery later this week.
"We are disappointed for Laura. She was beginning to come into her own as a collegiate player," Frese said. "Her presence will be missed on the floor; however, this team is ready to make the adjustments to continue to compete at a high level. They will grow through this adversity and rise to the challenge."
Harper's top game of this young season for the 8-1 Terps came against now-No. 1 LSU. She had 17 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks in the 64-51 loss.
A starter in every game this season, Harper, from Elkins Park, Pa., has three double doubles, is shooting 57 percent from the field and leads Maryland with 15 blocks.