Your #8 Maryland women's basketball team will be hosting #6 Miami tomorrow (Sunday) in a very big game. Tip-off is at 2:50 and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2, so if you've never seen your Lady Terps play this season, here's your chance! It's also the Play4Kay game so I assume pink will be involved in the uniforms.
The Hurricanes and the Terps have clashed once before this season, back on Jan. 12 when MD fell, 75-63. In that one, Miami player Riquana Williams dropped 34 on the Terps, including shooting 8-14(!) from three. For those unfamiliar with ACC women's basketball, Williams is part of a Miami duo that could both very well wind up First Team ACC. Williams averages 15.6 ppg, while Shenise Johnson averages 16.7 ppg and 7.8 rebounds. Johnson is also probably Alyssa Thomas' biggest challenge in the race for ACC POY. Miami also has Morgan Stroman, who scores 12.9 ppg (*EDIT: No they don't. Just realized Stroman tore her ACL a few weeks ago and is out for year), and Stefanie Yderstrom, who averages 9.9 ppg and had some key threes in the earlier Terps/Hurricanes game.
Maryland and Miami feature the Top 2 scoring offenses in the ACC (Maryland is 1st), so both defenses will be put to the test. Last time these two met, Miami out-rebounded the Terps by 8, even though Maryland leads the ACC in rebounding margin (+13.7). The Terps need to do better on the glass this time. They also need to take good care of the ball - Miami leads the ACC in steals per game (14.1). Anjale Barrett (the Terps starting PG) has had both great games and games where she's made several bad decisions, let's hope tomorrow is the former.
I'm sure the Terps will be looking for a big game from the ACC's leading scorer, Alyssa Thomas. But other players need to step up too, whether it be Laurin Mincy, Tianna Hawkins, Lynetta Kizer, or someone else. Hawkins and Alicia DeVaughn need to anchor the glass early. If they can get the balanced scoring they got against Clemson, this team will be tough to stop. But they have to play solid defense too, because if there's any team in the ACC that can win a scoring shootout against the Terps, it's Miami.
With all that being said, I'm looking forward to what I think is going to be a great game. Miami is 10-1 and in 2nd place in the ACC, so we really need this one. Go Terps!