Maryland vs. Mississippi

Ncaa Women's Tournament

March 20, 2007|By MILTON KENT

The game

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

Where -- Hartford (Conn.) Civic Center

When -- 7 tonight

TV -- ESPN2

The teams

No. 2 seed Maryland --28-5; Atlantic Coast Conference third place (10-4); 16th NCAA tournament appearance.

No. 7 seed Mississippi --22-10; Southeastern Conference fifth place (9-5); 17th NCAA tournament appearance.

The frontcourts

Mississippi senior Jada Mincy has had 10 games with 10 rebounds this season and is second on the team in rebounding. Junior forward Danetra Forrest missed seven of 10 free throws in the Rebels' 88-74 win over Texas Christian in the first round Sunday night. Maryland's Laura Harper has blocked a shot in 11 of the Terps' past 12 games. Marissa Coleman is averaging 14.3 points and 9.9 rebounds in the past seven games. After shooting well from the free-throw line in her previous three games, Crystal Langhorne missed both foul shots Sunday and is shooting 57 percent from the line.

Edge -- Maryland

The backcourts

Mississippi senior Armintie Price is the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a Kodak All-America finalist and averages 9.0 rebounds. She needs seven steals to join Cheryl Miller as the only players in NCAA women's history to accumulate 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 400 assists and 400 steals. Freshman Alliesha Easley scored 14 points in her first NCAA tournament game. Senior Ashley Awkward had five assists and four steals in Mississippi's first meeting with Maryland. Maryland's Shay Doron scored 23 points and had seven assists in Maryland's 110-79 win over the Rebels in November. Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood had four points and two assists in her first NCAA tournament appearance.

Edge -- Even

The benches

Mississippi sophomore center Shawn Goff is shooting 51 percent from the field, the best among the Rebels' regulars, while junior forward Carla Bartee shoots 32 percent from the field. Maryland's Jade Perry scored nine points, including five of six from the line against Harvard. Kristi Toliver had nine assists and two turnovers in her first game off the bench Sunday.

Edge -- Maryland

The coaches

Mississippi's Carol Ross (322-170 in 16 seasons), has taken her alma mater to four straight postseason appearances, but Sunday's win over TCU was her first NCAA tournament victory with the Rebels. Maryland's Brenda Frese (169-80 in eight years), has reached the regional semifinals once in her four NCAA trips with the Terps.

Edge -- Even

Keys for Terps

The Terps got out early and stayed on top in their win in the Bahamas over Mississippi, and that's the likely formula for a win tonight. Keeping turnovers to a minimum would also be a help, because the Rebels thrive on creating chaos and scoring out of it.

The bottom line

This one will be much closer than the drubbing the Terps laid on Mississippi in November, if only because the Rebels are better than four months ago. But Maryland has too many weapons, and the Rebels appear to have too much trouble scoring.

Prediction

Maryland -- 80-65

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