Terps women fall, 87-79, irk Frese

Coach benches starters as Va. Tech tops UM again

College Basketball

February 25, 2005|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - Maryland women's basketball coach Brenda Frese wanted to send a clear message to her starters: Your positions are not guaranteed.

Upset by the play of her starters entering a nine-point halftime deficit, Frese benched them twice during the second half of last night's game against visiting Virginia Tech, but the No. 23 Terps could not make up ground and lost, 87-79, before 2,833 at Comcast Center.

Maryland, which has dropped three of its past four Atlantic Coast Conference contests, fell to 18-8 to overall and 7-7 in the conference and likely lost any chance of securing a first-round bye in next weekend's ACC tournament.

But more importantly, Frese sought to chip away at what she perceived to be a lackadaisical effort on the part of her starters.

"Where our team is right now, it's extremely disappointing," Frese said in a rare display of frustration. "It's a privilege when you put that uniform on, and the way we're playing is disappointing."

Frese opened the second half with four reserves - senior Liz Gilchrest, junior Angel Ross, sophomore C'Vette Henson and freshman Ashleigh Newman - and starting center Crystal Langhorne, a freshman. Midway through the period, she sent in the same four reserves and freshman forward Jade Perry.

Sophomore guard Kalika France, who scored 14 points, said the team got the hint.

"Our bench practices hard and plays hard, and yet we're out here taking it for granted," she said. "We're supposed to be out there setting the tone, and we need to step it up."

Sophomore guard Shay Doron, whose nagging right shoulder was reinjured, causing her to miss the final 44.7 seconds, led all scorers with 20. Langhorne registered her 13th double double of the season with 19 points and 16 rebounds.

But it wasn't enough to prevent Virginia Tech (16-10, 5-8) from completing the season sweep against the Terps. Maryland has lost four consecutive games to the Hokies and hasn't beaten them since March 18, 2000.

At least the Terps won't have to worry about Virginia Tech until at least the semifinals of the ACC tournament. Maryland sits in sixth place, one game behind fifth-place Virginia (18-9, 7-6). If the Cavaliers defeat second-to-last Wake Forest on Sunday, they would earn the No. 5 seed and the last first-round bye.

VIRGINIA TECH - Gardin 8-10 3-5 19, Gibson 3-7 0-1 6, Chriss 8-12 3-4 19, Mason 3-7 4-5 10, Anderson 3-6 0-0 6, Marrone 1-2 0-0 3, Copeland 2-8 4-5 8, Recchia 1-2 2-2 4, Diawara 1-1 2-4 4, Finnerty 0-0 0-0 0, Jackson 4-4 0-0 8. Totals 34-59 18-26 87. MARYLAND - Langhorne 5-10 9-12 19, Perry 5-9 0-2 10, Doron 6-11 7-7 20, France 4-9 6-6 14, Smith 3-4 0-0 6, Newman 2-7 0-0 5, Carr 0-1 0-0 0, Henson 1-2 1-3 3, Ross 0-1 0-0 0, Noirez 1-2 0-0 2, Gilchrest 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 27-57 23-30 79. Halftime - Virginia Tech, 48-39. 3-point goals - Virginia Tech 1-7 (Mason 0-3, Marrone 1-1, Copeland 0-2, Recchia 0-1); Maryland 2-10 (Doron 1-2, France 0-3, Newman 1-4, Gilchrest 0-1). Fouled out - Newman. Rebounds - Virginia Tech 29 (Gardin 12); Maryland 34 (Langhorne 16). Assists - Virginia Tech 24 (Mason 9); Maryland 10 (Smith 4). Total fouls - Virginia Tech 22; Maryland 23. A - 2,833.

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