Terps women start fast

UM scores first 16 points, dominates inside, aided by TCU foul trouble

No. 1 Maryland 82 Texas Christian 64

College basketball

November 18, 2006|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Sun reporter

COLLEGE PARK -- It only took 12 seconds into last night's game for Texas Christian basketball coach Jeff Mittie to get his first clue that his Lady Frogs were going to be in for a long night against top-ranked Maryland.

That's when center Micaela Younger, the only TCU starter over 6 feet, picked up her second foul. The night only got longer for the Lady Frogs, as the Terps scored the game's first 16 points on the way to an 82-64 rout on the first night of the BTI Classic at Comcast Center.

The absence of Younger, who got her third and fourth fouls before the end of the first half, allowed the Maryland guards and forwards to work the high-low entry pass almost flawlessly.

"We got frustrated early by the fact that we weren't so bad early as Maryland was so very, very good," Mittie said. "Did that game last four hours? It sure felt like it, especially that first four minutes."

Sophomore point guard Kristi Toliver recorded 10 assists in 18 minutes, and junior forward Laura Harper had 16 of her 27 points before halftime.

Harper, 6-4, the Most Outstanding Player in last year's Final Four, started the night with a pair of 15-footers, then pounded the smaller Lady Frogs (0-1) on the low block.

"Things were just working and I was just playing basketball," Harper said. "Coach [Brenda Frese] has been telling me all week just to stop thinking so much and bounce back and play. I play my best when I just come out and not really think about too much."

The Terps (3-0), who led by as many as 32, seemed to tail off in the second half, shooting just 32 percent after hitting 57 percent in the first half. Their three-point shooting, 40 percent last season, left them last night, to the tune of 2-for-15.

"Obviously, our offense is our strongest weapon, and we're going to have nights like this," said senior guard Shay Doron, whose 22 points moved her into fifth on Maryland's all-time scoring list with 1,522. "Our threes were just really bad. We'll have nights like this, but we have to make up for it in other ways, and we're finding other ways to do that. That will just make us better in the long run."

However, Mittie was impressed by the stat line that Maryland turned 27 team assists into 31 field goals, proof that the Terps are more than willing to share the ball.

"That's what won us a championship last year, our unselfishness," Frese said. "I've said all along, this team continues to stay grounded in what they're doing and stays hungry. ... They just really take ownership and unselfishness really separates us from the majority of teams out there."

The Terps will meet Arizona in the second game of the round-robin this afternoon, then take on No. 25 George Washington tomorrow afternoon. The Colonials (3-0) held off the Wildcats (1-1), 69-65, in last night's opener.

Maryland sophomore Marissa Coleman fell hard to the floor midway through the first half on a fast break, landing heavily on her back and suffering a bruised tailbone. Coleman, a 6-1 forward, remained on the bench for the rest of the game. Frese said she is day-to-day.

milton.kent@baltsun.com

TCU-Butler-Rayford 2-6 3-4 8, Davis 3-11 2-2 10, Younger 1-2 0-0 2, Knight 1-8 0-0 3, Moore 1-6 0-0 2, Purdom 0-0 0-0 0, Roden 3-5 2-2 8, Rivera 2-2 0-0 4, Nunn 4-8 0-1 8, Ross 5-12 4-4 15, Lohse 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 24-63 11-13 64. MARYLAND-Harper 12-16 3-6 27, Coleman 2-3 1-2 6, Langhorne 4-6 3-4 11, Toliver 2-4 0-0 4, Doron 8-17 5-5 22, Marrone 1-3 0-1 2, Newman 1-10 2-3 4, Noirez 0-2 0-0 0, Perry 1-8 4-4 6. Totals 31-69 18-25 82. Half-Maryland, 51-28. 3-point goals-TCU 5-20 (Davis 2-9, Ross 1-2, Knight 1-2, Butler-Rayford 1-2, Moore 0-5), Maryland 2-15 (Coleman 1-1, Doron 1-6, Toliver 0-1, Marrone 0-2, Newman 0-5). Fouled out-Perry. Rebounds-TCU 32 (Butler-Rayford 9), Maryland 50 (Langhorne, Perry 11). Assists-TCU 12 (Butler-Rayford 4), Maryland 27 (Toliver 10). Total fouls-TCU 26, Maryland 18. A-6,422.

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