Currie bedeviled again in national title shot

NCAA Women



BOSTON -- Duke forward Monique Currie passed up a chance to be a certain top-five pick in the WNBA last year just to play for a national championship. And with 10 seconds left in regulation last night, it appeared that her gamble would pay off.

Instead, Currie, who redshirted in 2002-03 because of a tear in her anterior cruciate ligament, came up short in her final try at a championship, as Maryland beat the Blue Devils, 78-75, in overtime.

Currie had 22 points, six rebounds and four assists, but she was in foul trouble most of the second half, when Duke squandered a 13-point lead.

"Clearly, right now, I don't feel very good about how things ended," said Currie, who played in high school at Bullis in Potomac. "It's a tough loss. I think we tried as hard as we could and we left it out there on the floor, and that's all you can really ask for."

Looking forward

After Maryland's win, Terps junior guard Shay Doron was asked what the team plans to do for an encore.

"Repeat," she replied with a big grin. "The first one's sweet, but I'd love to make history."

Only three teams - Southern California (1983-1984), Tennessee (1996-1998) and Connecticut (2002-2004) - have captured consecutive titles.

Television calling

Maryland's national title probably will pay off next season in additional nationally televised regular-season appearances.

Carol Stiff, senior director of programming and acquisitions for ESPN, said the Terps should be in line to be a part of the "Big Monday" package of games that airs on ESPN2 from January to March.

"They have a lot of people coming back," Stiff said of the Terps. "You've got to look at the depth chart. Maryland's young."

Ms. Popularity

Even before hitting that clutch three-pointer to force overtime last night, Maryland freshman point guard Kristi Toliver was getting accolades for her steady play and lack of nerves.

Now she has a marriage proposal.

Tim Fincham, a sophomore from Gambrills who plays the French horn for the school's pep band, held up a homemade sign with the question, "Kristi, will you marry me??"

Fincham, who created the sign before the band traveled to Boston, admitted that the sign was more of a joke and said his girlfriend had not seen it.

"I don't think she knows, but she probably will after watching this game on TV tonight," he said. "She shouldn't be too upset, though."

Welcome back

The Terps are scheduled to return to College Park today, with a pep rally scheduled for the amphitheater outside the Stamp Student Union at 3 p.m.

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