As Ben pointed out, Thursday night the Maryland Women’s team suffered their first loss at home in nearly three years. THREE YEARS! February 18th, 2007 was the last time the Lady Terps lost at home (it was to Duke, who ironically is Maryland’s next opponent, Sunday night at 8 at Comcast. Go check them out if you're around College Park tomorrow night). You can protect your home court as well as Maryland did when you have Marissa Coleman and Kristi Toliver on your team, two players who will go down as some of the best to ever play for Maryland, as well as in women's college basketball. When you step back and realize that the Terps lost two players last year who’s numbers both now hang from the rafters of the Comcast Center, then you start to realize how much this team lost with those two graduating. Imagine having to replace Bias and Dixon in the same year...that is the caliber we're talking about with Marissa and Kristi. Not only were those two amazing players, their maturity and leadership on the court was immensely valuable.
But even with those type of players, the teams Maryland beat during the streak are rather remarkable: #3 UNC, #3 LSU, #8 Duke, #12 Duke, #25 Wake, UCLA...that is one of the more remarkable streaks you're ever going to see and it will be one that will be hard to ever duplicate. When you throw in the toughness that you face in every ACC game, it makes it that much more impressive.
It’s amazing the streak lasted as long as it did this season. Maryland has all of one upper classmen on their roster, Lori Bjork, who is a transfer that’s been the sole senior leader. The rest of the team are sophomores and freshmen. This team will be good. They'll be good this year. They'll be good next year. And they'll be really good in two years. But they're young and young teams make mistakes and some times those close games that a veteran team would win, a young team loses. They'll be a tournament team. They might not contend for the National Title, but they'll be a solid team who can win. Brenda is a good coach and her team is improving with every game. And while the game against Miami is one the Terps could have won, there were still many positives to take away from the game, like coming back from being down 15, that Brenda and the Terps can build on going forward. Anyone who is thinking about pushing a panic button is, in a word, crazy. Was the streak cool? Yes. Did the streak help illustrate Maryland's home court advantage, especially the 5,000 cheering fans that show up for each game. Yes. But as Brenda said in her post game press conference, it's time for this team to start a new streak and forge a new identity. And I think they'll do just that Sunday night against Duke.