So I was gone for about a week (11/25-11/30) and I think I owe you all at least a brief look at what happened in the non-rev world at Maryland. Women's basketball threw in what we hope will be their annual clunker (see losses to St. Joe's last year and Virginia Tech the season before) eking out a 69-63 win over Drexel before heading off to routs of Texas Southern and Ohio while "suffering" through Thanksgiving in San Juan, Puerto Rico to move to 8-1 on the season. The Terps are currently ranked eighth in the AP Poll. Volleyball, as I've covered elsewhere on the site, dropped their final two matches on the road to Virginia Tech and Virginia to finish the season tied for thirteenth in the ACC. Wrestling continued to struggle early in the season with an unsurprising, if lopsided, 32-9 loss to sixth ranked Cornell and having to rally late to edge Rutgers 19-18 in Madison Square Garden on Sunday. And in postseason news, Maryland's field hockey team placed five players on the National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-America Teams.
We'll start with women's basketball and please remember that I didn't see any of these games - regardless of the sport. Though the Drexel Dragons looked to be a relatively soft opponent for Maryland, they proved to be anything but - even if the game opened with the appearance of an expected Terrapin romp as the Terps jumped out to an 11-1 lead in the first four minutes. Over the ensuing twelve minutes or so, the Dragons hung around essentially trading baskets trailing by thirteen at the under four minute media timeout. A three point jumper by Brene Moseley extended the lead to sixteen with 1:47 remaining in the half. However, Drexel went on a 5-0 mini-run to pull within eleven going into the break.
The second half started with more of the same trading of baskets. A jumper by Shatori Walker-Kimbrough put the Terps up by a dozen with an equal number of minutes to play. This is where things turned a bit dicey for the home team as the Dragons scored eight straight fueled by back to back three pointers to cut Maryland's lead to four with ten and a half minutes left in the second half. After a timeout by Coach Frese, the Terps responded with a three pointer by Lexie Brown who then assisted on an Alicia DeVaughn hoop to take the lead back to nine. But the now confident visitors came back to twice cut the lead to three - the last coming with just 2:46 left. Moseley's jumper and some strong free throw shooting held off the Dragons as the Terps escaped with the narrow win. Alyssa Thomas registered her fifth consecutive double-double leading all scorers with 21 points while pulling down a team high 14 rebounds. With 12 points, Shatori was the only other Terp to reach double figures.
In their first match in the Grapple in the Garden on Sunday (12/1), the Terps faced off against the sixth ranked Cornell Big Red. Cornell has wrestlers ranked in the top fifteen in seven of the ten weight classes while Maryland has three - Jimmy Sheptock at 184, Christian Boley at 197, and heavyweight Spencer Myers. By the time the match reached Boley's weight class Maryland's deficit was so large that Coach Kerry McCoy elected to have sophomore Chris Jastrzebski wrestle in Boley's stead. Sheptock and Myers each won two point decisions with the third ranked Sheptock's coming over twelfth ranked Gabe Dean. A notable upset occurred on the Terrapins' side of the ledger when sophomore Shyheim Brown scored a 5-0 decision over Cornell's fourth ranked Mike Nevinger in the 141 pound weight class.
Taking the court in Puerto Rico on Friday, the women's basketball team tipped off in the first of their two games in the San Juan Shootout against the Texas Southern Tigers. The Terps apparently liked playing in a warmer climate after their struggles against Drexel as they ran the Tigers out of the gym by a 100-59 final. The game marked the first time Maryland reached the century mark since December 8, 2011 in a 108-33 win over Delaware State.
Texas Southern did manage to grab a single one point lead against Maryland rallying from an early 7-2 deficit to take an 11-10 lead with 13:48 to play in the first half. Over the ensuing four and a half minutes the Terps then went on a 19-5 run capped off by Laurin Mincy's three pointer that extended the lead to thirteen. This time, they didn't let the underdog hang around and gain any confidence pushing the lead out to twenty on an 11-2 burst that needed just forty-seven seconds. The Terps led 54-29 at the half.
Maryland scored the first five points of the second half to go up by thirty but then got sloppy with ball - turning it over on four straight possessions and causing Coach Brenda Frese to replace the entire starting five. The bench squad didn't fare much better turning the ball over on their first possession. The spate of turnovers allowed the Tigers to respond with an eleven point run that chopped the Terrapins lead to nineteen. The starters returned to the floor after the under sixteen media timeout and apparently got the message as they began raining threes, protecting the ball, and running the court using a 17-0 spurt to open up a 76-40 lead. The Terps placed four players in double figures led by (surprise!) Alyssa Thomas's twenty-three. The senior added ten rebounds to record her sixth consecutive double-double. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough had a career high seventeen points on 7 for 9 shooting. Alicia DeVaughn and Katie Rutan also reached doule figures for Maryland. Brene Moseley ledt the team with 9 assists and freshman Lexie Brown was close behind with 8 as the Terps notched 27 assists on 39 baskets. Essence Townsend came off the bench late in the second half and scored four points while grabbing three rebounds in seven minutes of action.
In their second match in New York, the Terps wrestlers dug their way out of a deep deep hole clawing to a 19-18 win over future Big Ten foe Rutgers. After the Terps dropped matches at 125 and 133 pounds, Shyheim Brown again got Maryland on the board with a 5-2 decision over Tyson Dippery. Rutgers' Ken Theobold pinned Derrick Evanovich at 149 but Ben Dorsay kept the Terrapins hopes alive with a 6-5 win at 157 pounds. The Scarlet Knights won decisions in the next two matches to take an 18-6 lead going into the final three matches. Jimmy Sheptock energized the Terps by scoring a 22-7 technical fall. Next up, Christian Boley made Coach McCoy's decision not to have him wrestle against Cornell look like genius when Boley pinned Hayden Hrymack. The fate of the match came down to heavyweight Spencer Myers and the redshirt junior pulled out a win though he needed two overtimes to do it. The Terps return to Comcast for a meet against Pitt Friday night.
The women's basketball team capped off their stay in Puerto Rico with a comfortable 80-64 win over the Ohio Bobcats. After a layup with under thirteen minutes left in the first half gave Ohio a 14-11 lead, Maryland rattled off nine in a row to go up by six. The Terps would not trail again. Brene Moseley's layup after a Bobcats turnover gave the Terrapins their first double digit lead of the game with 9:54 to play in the half. Moseley's bucket came early in a 22-1 Maryland blitz that extended the lead to twenty five. The Bobcats closed the half with back to back three point jumpers to trail 44-25 at the break.
While Ohio prevented a Maryland run in the second half, they failed to put up one of their own as the Terps cruised to the 24 point win. Although she recorded her seventh straight double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, Alyssa Thomas didn't lead Maryland in scoring. That honor fell to Lexie Brown who reached a career high sixteen points in twenty-six minutes of action. Moseley fell one assist short of a double-double once again dishing out a team leading nine assists while also dropping in twelve points. Malina Howard was the fourth Terrapin in double figures with thirteen. Maryland faces Ohio State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge Wednesday night.
And finally, the National Field Hockey Coaches Association announced their All-American Teams on Monday and Maryland and the national champion UConn Huskies were the only schools to have five players earn the honor. Not surprisingly, Ali McEvoy, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, and Jill Witmer, the league's Offensive Player of the Year were named to the First Team. Terrapin goalkeeper Natalie Hunter earned a spot on the Second Team and Maxine Fluharty and Sarah Sprink were named to the Third Team. Today's award is the first All-American honor for McEvoy, Hunter, Fluharty, and Sprink. Witmer is a four time All-American making her the sixth Terp and first since Katie O'Donnell to earn that distinction. This is her second appearance on the First Team having earned that honor as a sophomore as well.
The same five players were also named to womensfieldhockey.com's All-America Teams. Hunter, McEvoy, and Witmer made the First Team while Fluharty made the Second Team and Sprink was on the Third Team. McEvoy and Witmer were also named that organization's national Defensive and Offensive Players of the Year respectively.