Maryland women fall to No. 21 Georgia Tech, 61-60

Terps' Barrett leads comeback, then misses game-tying free throw

February 06, 2010|By Kathy Orton The Washington Post

COLLEGE PARK — — While Maryland coach Brenda Frese was willing to concede that her team showed a great deal of perseverance rallying from a 17-point second-half deficit, she was none too pleased with how the Terrapins found themselves in that predicament in the first place.

Maryland's 61-60 loss to No. 21 Georgia Tech on Friday afternoon was the Terrapins' third consecutive home defeat, a skid unheard of at Comcast Center since the 2002-03 season. The three setbacks were by a total of five points.

"Obviously, proud of the fight we had in us in the second half," Frese said. "To be down 17 and show the toughness in the last stretch, to be able to come back, says a lot about our team. But like I told them in the locker room, it shouldn't have taken us 25 minutes to get ourselves into a mind-set to be ready to compete."

Once again, Maryland's free-throw shooting cost the Terrapins (16-7, 3-5 Atlantic Coast Conference). With a chance to send the game into overtime, Anjalé Barrett, a 62 percent free-throw shooter, missed the second of two foul shots with one second remaining. The ball hit the rim and bounced into the arms of Georgia Tech's Alex Montgomery (20 points) who held on to it until the buzzer sounded, signaling the Yellow Jackets' first win in College Park in nine years.

"When it comes down to one possession, you've got to step up there and knock them down," Barrett said. "I knocked the first one down and missed the second one. ... I've got to step up and knock the free throws down."

The smattering of die-hard fans who braved the snowstorm and early start time - the game was moved up to 4 p.m. from 8:30 p.m. because of the weather - had to wonder whether their efforts were worth it given Maryland's lackluster play early.

Maryland could not have had a much more disastrous start to the game. Nearly from the moment the ball was tossed into the air, Georgia Tech (19-5, 5-3) flustered the Terrapins with its athleticism and full-court press.

It also didn't help that Maryland's top two scorers were limited in this game. Diandra Tchatchouang, the team's leading scorer at 12.7 points per game, was hampered by the flu and went scoreless, playing only eight minutes. Because of a violation of team rules, Lynetta Kizer did not start for just the second time this season. Kizer played 24 foul-marred minutes and finished with nine points and eight rebounds.

With Maryland in need of a calming presence on the floor after freshman point guard Dara Taylor (eight turnovers, no points) was undone by Georgia Tech's defense, the Terrapins turned to Barrett, who scored a team-high 14 points and had seven assists.

"[Barrett] was fantastic tonight," Frese said. "The confidence she gave our team, just her willingness to be strong, aggressive to the rim. The confidence and swagger that Anj played with really helped a lot."

For box score, see Scoreboard on Page 2.

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