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Maryland women’s basketball bracket madness (Elite Eight)

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We’ve once again narrowed our field of all-time Terps. Let’s see who advances to the Final Four.

NCAA Women’s Basketball - North Carolina vs Maryland - January 9, 2005 Photo by T. Quinn/WireImage

Bracket season is still rolling at Testudo Times. Earlier this month, we debuted Maryland women’s basketball bracket madness, a 32-player tournament of all-time Terps. We held the second round this past week, and now our field of 16 is down to eight.

These quarterfinal matchups present some interesting storylines — there are three pairs of former teammates, two of which include members of the 2006 national championship team. This round has matchups of players who followed in each other’s footsteps and players who will always be linked to one another. Let’s get started.

The results

After a couple incredibly close calls in the opening round, these results were rather convincing across the board. Three Terps — Kristi Toliver, Crystal Langhorne and Alyssa Thomas — garnered at least 96 percent of the vote in their matchups, while four of the other five polls were at least 70-30. Shay Doron and Deanna Tate provided some drama, but Doron’s convincing win on Twitter lifted her to a 59.1 percent total overall.

Here are the full second-round bracket results.

WINNER Total Votes Site Twitter LOSER Total Votes Site Twitter
WINNER Total Votes Site Twitter LOSER Total Votes Site Twitter
Alyssa Thomas 96.8% 388 315 (97.5%) 73 (93.6%) Tianna Hawkins 3.2% 13 8 (2.5%) 5 (6.4%)
Brionna Jones 80.4% 308 239 (77.9%) 69 (90.8%) Kris Kirchner 19.6% 75 68 (22.1%) 7 (9.2%)
Kristi Toliver 97.4% 457 368 (97.6%) 89 (96.7%) Laura Harper 2.6% 12 9 (2.4%) 3 (3.3%)
Marissa Coleman 88.3% 333 291 (92.7%) 62 (74.7%) Christy Winters 11.7% 44 23 (92.3%) 21 (25.3%)
Vicky Bullett 94.5% 258 201 (96.1%) 57 (89.1%) Debbie Lytle 5.5% 15 8 (3.9%) 7 (10.9%)
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough 70.4% 297 250 (71.2%) 47 (67.1%) Kaila Charles 29.6% 125 102 (29.0%) 23 (32.9%)
Crystal Langhorne 97.5% 394 301 (98.0%) 93 (97.9%) Myra Waters 2.5% 10 8 (2.0%) 2 (2.1%)
Shay Doron 59.1% 251 163 (51.7%) 88 (80.0%) Deanna Tate 40.9% 174 152 (48.3%) 22 (20.0%)

The matchups

ALYSSA THOMAS (2010-14)
Career stats: 17.5 pts, 9.1 rebs, 3.6 asts, 1.8 stls
Best season: 2013-14 (senior) — 19.0 pts, 10.9 rebs, 4.1 asts, 1.5 stls
Totals: 2,356 points (1st), 1,235 rebounds (1st), 488 assists (5th), 238 steals (6th)
Awards: 3x ACC POY (2012-14), 3x All-American (2012-14), 3x All-ACC First Team (2012-14), NCAA regional MOP (2014), ACC Tournament MVP (2012), ACC ROY (2011)

BRIONNA JONES (2013-17)
Career stats: 13.6 pts, 8.5 rebs, 1.2 blks, 1.2 stls, 0.9 asts
Best season: 2016-17 (senior) — 19.9 pts, 10.9 rebs, 1.9 stls, 1.6 blks, 1.5 asts, 69.0% FG
Totals: 1,928 points (T-7th), 1,209 rebounds (3rd), 164 blocks (4th), 65.0% FG (2nd)
Awards: All-American (2017), 3x All-Big Ten First Team (2015-17)

These two overlapped for exactly one season in College Park.

In 2013-14, Thomas was a senior coming off consecutive ACC Player of the Year campaigns. She was all over program leaderboards an on her way to the top in so many of them. Jones was a freshman from Havre de Grace, Maryland, and while she was the No. 55 prospect in ESPNw’s Class of 2013 rankings, Maryland’s rookie class had other stars — five-star point guard Lexie Brown, four-star wing Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and four-star forward A’Lexus Harrison.

Thomas averaged 19.0 points and 10.9 rebounds that season — no teammate had more than 10.1 points or 5.4 boards — and nearly led Maryland in assists. The Terps went 24-5 and Thomas was ACC Player of the Year for the third time. But that record, and the subsequent run to the Final Four, wouldn’t have been possible without depth. Maryland regularly went 10 deep that season, and three of the freshmen finished top-five on the team in scoring (Jones was fifth with 6.9 per game).

Jones’ career blossomed after that season. She became a full-time starter with Thomas graduated and helped lead Maryland back to the Final Four in 2015. After making one of two All-Big Ten First Teams that year, she was a consensus pick in 2016. And Jones’ 2016-17 season — 19.9 points, 10.9 rebounds, 1.9 steals, 1.6 blocks and 1.5 assists with 69.0 percent field-goal shooting — is arguably as dominant a campaign as any Terrapin has put together this century.

Thomas could do it all and performed at a superstar level for all four years. Jones didn’t come to College Park as a finished product, but she left as an All-American with an all-around game.

These two reunited on the Connecticut Sun, who drafted both players in the first round of the WNBA Draft three years apart, and are entering their fourth season as pro teammates. They’ll be linked for a long time. There are arguments for either as the greater Terp — perhaps one easier to make than the other — but it’s your choice. — TK

Poll

Elite Eight: Alyssa Thomas vs. Brionna Jones

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    Alyssa Thomas
    (331 votes)
  • 3%
    Brionna Jones
    (13 votes)
344 votes total Vote Now

KRISTI TOLIVER (2005-09)
Career stats: 14.9 pts, 5.4 ast, 2.9 rebs 1.1 stls, 40.8% 3P, 86.6% FT
Best season: 2007-08 (junior) — Started all 37 games, 17.1 pts, 7.4 asts, 3.4 rebs, 1.5 stls
Totals: 2,078 points (5th), 751 assists (1st), 14.9 PPG (8th), 300 3Ps (1st), .408 3P% (3rd), .866 FT% (1st)
Awards: ACC Player of the Year (2009), 2x All-ACC First Team (2008-09), 2x All-American (2008-09), All-Final Four (2006), National Champion (2006)

MARISSA COLEMAN (2005-09)
Career stats: 15.3 pts, 7.9 rebs, 3.1 asts, 1.4 stls, 1.0 blks, 38.8% 3P
Best season: 2008-09 (senior) — 18.1 pts, 8.6 rebs, 3.3 asts, 1.8 stls
Totals: 2,205 points (3rd), 15.3 PPG (6th), 1,139 rebounds (4th), 7.9 RPG (9th), 453 assists (7th), 141 blocks (5th)
Awards: All-ACC First Team (2009), All-American (2009), ACC Tournament MVP (2009), All-ACC Second Team (2006, 2007, 2008), ACC Rookie of the Year (2006), National Champion (2006)

On Memorial Day weekend in 2004, Toliver and Coleman committed to the Terrapin program together and were the final pieces added to the puzzle prior to the 2005-06 season that saw the Lady Terps reach the pinnacle of women’s hoops. The two combined to make the No. 4 recruiting class in 2005 and stepped in right away at the next level.

Coleman had the biggest impact overall during that freshman season, playing in 37 games and averaging 13.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. Toliver played in 33, starting 24, in which she averaged 11.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game while making 89.1 percent of her free throws — which stands as the program record for a single season.

In terms of single impact however, Toliver certainly stands out to Maryland fans thanks to her late game three-pointer that sent Maryland and Duke into overtime in the 2006 National Championship game.

With such strong impacts early on, it’s often hard to shock people, but Toliver and Coleman both transitioned into stars beyond the image people had drawn of them in their junior seasons. Toliver started all 37 games as a junior, averaging 17.1 points per game (up 4.8 points from her sophomore season), 7.4 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. Coleman also saw a sizeable jump from 13.2 points per game to 16.1 in 2007-08 as the Terps made the Elite Eight.

This duo made their senior seasons count, winning the ACC Tournament and reaching the Elite Eight again in 2009 as the pair combined for 36.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 3.2 steals per game. That continued success led to Toliver and Coleman being able to move on to the next level side-by-side, being drafted No. 2 and No. 3 overall in the 2009 WNBA Draft. — WB

Poll

Elite Eight: Kristi Toliver vs. Marissa Coleman

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    Kristi Toliver
    (244 votes)
  • 29%
    Marissa Coleman
    (104 votes)
348 votes total Vote Now

VICKY BULLETT (1985-89)
Career stats: 16.9 pts, 8.5 rebs, 1.3 asts, 1.9 stls, 1.5 blks
Best season: 1988-89 (senior) — 21.4 pts, 9.0 rebs, 1.8 asts, 2.3 stls, 1.4 blks
Totals: 1,928 points (6th), 968 rebounds (6th), 816 field goals (3rd), 170 blocks (3rd), 220 steals (11th)
Awards: ACC Player of the Year (1989), 2x All-ACC First Team (1988-89), All-American (1989), ACC Tournament MVP (1989)

SHATORI WALKER-KIMBROUGH (2013-17)
Career stats: 15.2 pts, 4.5 rebs, 2.6 asts, 1.6 stls, 45.9% 3P
Best season: 2015-16 (junior) — 19.5 pts, 6.0 rebs, 3.3 asts, 1.9 stls, 54.5% 3P
Totals: 2,156 points (4th), 15.2 PPG (7th), 802 field goals (5th), 186 3-pointers (4th), 45.9% 3P (1st)
Awards: 3x All-Big Ten First Team (2015-17), 2x All-American (2016-17), NCAA regional MOP (2015)

Though they played in two completely different eras, Bullett and Walker-Kimbrough both left an ever-lasting legacy in College Park. Bullett, who shined in the front court for Maryland, posted high offensive and defensive stats throughout her four years, while Walker-Kimbrough led the Terrapins as a guard in the modern era.

Aside from the numbers that prove that both are some of Maryland’s greatest players, Bullett and Walker-Kimbrough implemented a winning culture to the team that led to a number of postseason runs.

Bullet brought the Terrapins to their second Final Four appearance in her senior season, and led the team to two straight Elite Eights. In her professional career, she was named to one All-Star team in 1999 and is forever enshrined in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

Walker-Kimbrough, a Baltimore native, played in the Final Four two consecutive years in 2014 and ‘15 with the Terrapins. After getting drafted by the Washington Mystics with the sixth overall pick in 2017, the guard was crowned a WNBA champion just two years later.

Two players, very different in terms of game-style, the era in which they played and even the conferences they played in, both proved to be leaders in their time at Maryland. Natural-born scorers with a long list of other talents was the magic potion that made these players have the great success they did in the regular season as well as the postseason. — MT

Poll

Elite Eight: Vicky Bullett vs Shatori Walker-Kimbrough

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    Vicky Bullett
    (272 votes)
  • 22%
    Shatori Walker-Kimbrough
    (77 votes)
349 votes total Vote Now

CRYSTAL LANGHORNE (2004-08)
Career stats: 16.6 pts, 9.1 rebs, 1.5 asts, 1.1 stls
Best season: 2005-06 (sophomore) — 17.2 pts, 8.6 rebs, 2.0 asts, 0.7 stls, 0.3 blks
Totals: 2,247 points (2nd), 1,229 rebounds (2nd), 889 field goals (2nd), 469 free throws (4th)
Awards: 3x All-American (2006-08), ACC POY (2008), 3x All-ACC First Team (2006-08), ACC ROY (2005)

SHAY DORON (2003-07)
Career stats: 14.0 pts, 4.0 rebs, 3.0 asts, 1.7 stls
Best season: 2004-05 (sophomore) — 17.6 pts, 4.4 rebs, 3.2 asts, 2.0 stls
Totals: 1,878 points (8th), 411 assists (11th), 223 steals (10th), 618 field goals (13th), 150 3-pointers (7th), 492 free throws (2nd)
Awards: All-ACC First Team (2005), All-ACC Second Team (2006), All-ACC Third Team (2004), All-ACC Tournament (2004), ACC All-Freshman Team (2004)

Although having shared the floor for most of their careers in College Park, Langhorne and Doron’s differing styles of play made each of them two of the more unique talents to come through the program.

Langhorne has a strong case for being one of the greatest Terps of all time, and for good reason. Her talent and scoring prowess were undeniable from the moment she joined the program in the 2004 season, with her style of play fitting in perfectly with what third-year head coach Brenda Frese wanted her forwards to do offensively. Langhorne averaged a double-double as an 18-year-old freshman, winning ACC Rookie of the Year by a landslide, the first of several accolades she earned as a Terp.

Langhorne’s Maryland career reflects the model of consistency that she brought to the floor each and every night, dominating at the rim and on the glass regardless of who was lined up across from her. Averaging 16.6 points and 9.1 boards per game over her four years, Langhorne’s combination of strength and impeccable footwork made her a three-time All-American, three-time All-ACC First Team, ACC Player of the Year, and, perhaps most importantly, an NCAA Champion.

Doron’s career wasn’t nearly as prolific as Langhorne’s was on paper, but the role that the 5’9 Israeli guard played for those great Maryland teams in the mid-2000s is undeniable. Hailed as Frese’s first big-time recruit as head coach of the Terps, Doron was a pivotal part of the 2003-04 squad that made it to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament, averaging 13.5 points per game to earn Frese her first postseason action in College Park.

However, Doron was soon surrounded with some of the best talent women’s college basketball had to offer, with Frese bringing in the likes of Langhorne, Kristi Toliver, Marissa Coleman, Laura Harper and several other high-profile talents in 2004 and ‘05. But Doron only continued to elevate her level of play despite playing on a roster saturated with talent, averaging 15.5 points per game over the next two seasons, including a tie for the team high with 16 points in the national title victory over Duke.

Collectively, Langhorne and Doron helped lead the Terps to 84 wins during their overlapping careers. And though their final season together ended with a Second Round exit in the NCAA Tournament, the score-centric duo helped usher in a new era of dominance Terps hoops that continues to persist to this day. — HM

Poll

Elite Eight: Crystal Langhorne vs. Shay Doron

This poll is closed

  • 88%
    Crystal Langhorne
    (311 votes)
  • 11%
    Shay Doron
    (42 votes)
353 votes total Vote Now