Tonight's game

Ncaa Women's Tournament

March 27, 2006|By EDWARD LEE

No. 2 Maryland vs. No. 5 Utah

What -- NCAA women's basketball tournament Albuquerque Regional final

Site -- Bob King Court, Albuquerque, N.M.

Time -- 7


Records -- Maryland 31-4, Utah 27-6.

Key matchup -- With 64 points in her past two games, Terps sophomore center Crystal Langhorne will be priority No. 1 for the Utes defense. Six-foot-three sophomore forward Jessica Perry is Utah's tallest starter and will likely draw the opening assignment, but expect coach Elaine Elliott to double- and triple-team Langhorne to force the other Maryland players to carry the offensive load. Utah boasts the 17th stingiest defense in the country, limiting opponents to 55.7 points and a .375 shooting percentage per game.

Outlook -- Experience has been the key for the Utes, who start three seniors that are well-versed with Elliott's motion offense and defensive strategies. The biggest factor will be whether Utah can keep pace with the Terps' offensive output. The Utes' 69.3-point average pales in comparison to Maryland 83.8-point average. If Utah sags its defense to contain Langhorne, it will be imperative for junior guard Shay Doron and freshmen Kristi Toliver and Marissa Coleman to find their range on the perimeter.

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