The Lady Terps toppled Dartmouth on Sunday by 29, behind the excellent scoring of senior guard Kristi Toliver. Toliver took over the game in the first half, scoring 23 first half points.
The crowd at the Comcast Center was basically a home crowd for the Terps, who extended their home win streak to 35 straight games, which is an amazing feat - they haven't lost at home in over two years!
The Terps defense kept the Big Green from effectively running their offense, as the Ivy League champs shot just 25% from the floor in the first half.
At half time, with the score 42-23, Kristi Toliver had scored as many points as the entire Dartmouth team!
While fellow senior Marissa Coleman has been very reliable as of late when it comes to scoring points, she only put up 9 tonight, but more importantly grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out 5 assists.
On several of the fast breaks, it was obvious how well Coleman and Toliver know each other on the hardwood. On several fast breaks, they put the ball exactly where the other would be, knowing exactly what they were going to do.
I heard Bob Knight recently talk on ESPN about the most important thing to do as a coach in the NCAA tournament - make sure your players have fresh legs. Fortunately for Maryland, only one of their starters (Marah Strickland) played more than 30 minutes on Sunday, meaning everyone else should be fresh and ready to go on Tuesday when the Terps take on the Utah Utes, who downed Villanova in the first game.
Utah played pretty well, but the real story of the game was Nova, which shot 19% from the field and only 13.3% in the second half.
It was cool to see the game and have two players on the court (Coleman and Toliver) who also had their jerseys retired in the rafters at Comcast.
Should be a good game Tuesday for Maryland. The determination of this team, with the leadership of Toliver and Coleman and the great coaching by Brenda Frese, should land this team in the Final 4. Hopefully they don't stumble along the way...