Maryland vs. Harvard

Today's game

March 18, 2007|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Sun Reporter

The game

What -- NCAA women's tournament Dayton Regional first-round game

Where -- Hartford (Conn.) Civic Center

When -- Today, 2:30 p.m. (approximate)

TV -- ESPN

The teams

No. 2 seed Maryland -- 27-5; Atlantic Coast Conference third place (10-4); 16th NCAA tournament appearance.

No. 15 seed Harvard -- 15-12; Ivy League champions (13-1), sixth NCAA tournament appearance.

The frontcourts

At 6 feet 3, sophomore forward Katie Rollins is the only Crimson starter above 6-2, but she is also the only starter to average fewer than 20 minutes a game. Senior forward Christiana Lackner leads the Crimson in rebounding at 7.0 per game. Maryland's Crystal Langhorne was named a Kodak All-America finalist two weeks ago, and Laura Harper is averaging nearly 2 1/2 blocks a game in her past seven. Sophomore Marissa Coleman has scored in double figures in each of the past 13 games.

Edge -- Maryland

The backcourts

Harvard's Emily Tay, Lindsay Hallion and Niki Finelli form a formidable three-guard offense. Tay, a sophomore, leads the team in assists, and Hallion, a junior, had 18 points in the Crimson's 68-58 win over Boston College. Finelli, a sophomore, is a 39.3 percent shooter from three-point range. Maryland's Shay Doron needs 81 points to overtake Vicky Bullett as the program's all-time leading scorer. Sophomore Kristi Toliver is third in the nation in three-point shooting percentage at 47.1 percent.

Edge -- Maryland

The benches

Sophomore Emma Moretzsohn leads the Crimson in blocks (26) and is shooting 59.8 percent from the field. Liz Tindal shoots 40.0 percent from three-point range and is a 94.3 percent free-throw shooter, and Jessica Knox averages 15.8 minutes a game, the most for a Harvard nonstarter. Maryland juniors Jade Perry and Ashleigh Newman have played in all 82 games of their careers. Junior transfer Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood has played well in recent weeks as a solid backup to Toliver at point guard.

Edge -- Maryland

The coaches

Kathy Delaney-Smith may have done her best coaching job in 25 years as Crimson coach, guiding a team with just two seniors and six underclassmen to the Ivy League title after a 3-12 start. Brenda Frese has taken the Terps to a fourth straight NCAA tournament berth and a second straight No. 2 seed.

Edge -- Even

Keys for Maryland

The challenge for the Terps is to escape from this game healthy while working on their defense and keeping their focus for 40 minutes. If they do, the Terps could break the record they set last season for largest NCAA tournament margin of victory (41 vs. Sacred Heart).

The bottom line

The Crimson remains the singular answer to the question, "What school is the only 16th seed to beat a No. 1 seed in an NCAA men's or women's tournament game since the field expanded to 64 teams?" after beating Stanford in the 1998 tournament. Harvard doesn't have enough athleticism to become the first women's 15th seed to win a game.

Prediction

Maryland -- 90-60

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