The 11th-ranked Maryland women’s basketball team will be without starting guard Laurin Mincy for the rest of the season after the junior tore the ACL in her right knee during Wednesday night’s 90-71 victory over No. 21 Nebraska in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Lincoln, Neb.
After scoring a season-high 16 points and going 4 for 4 from three-point range, Mincy landed awkwardly and left with roughly 15 minutes to play in regulation. She did not re-enter, although she was able to walk as well as pedal on an exercise bike during the game.
An MRI exam on Thursday revealed the tear, which is the second of her career and the third to befall a member of the women’s basketball team. Sophomore presumptive starting point guard Brene Moseley tore the ACL in her left knee on Oct. 21 during a preseason scrimmage and is out until next season, and reserve senior center Essence Townsend tore an ACL during an exhibition game.
“Obviously everyone’s disappointed for her, but I know this team will rally behind her and rally around each other,” Coach Brenda Frese said in a teleconference on Friday morning. “That’s the type of character we have in the locker room. It just means we’ve got to step up even more and be more creative with our practices, and we’ve got to be smarter with what we’re doing, but it’s not going to change who we are.”
Mincy, who is scheduled to have surgery on Dec. 21, was the second-leading scorer for the Terrapins last season, averaging 13.1 points per game. In last season’s NCAA tournament, Mincy combined to score 45 points in consecutive victories over then-No. 19 Louisville and then-No. 14 Texas A&M, which at the time was the reigning national champion. Maryland advanced to the regional final before losing to Notre Dame, 80-49.
Mincy was the team’s fourth-leading scorer this season at 8.6 points per game, and the absence of the honorable mention all-ACC selection leaves the Terrapins considerably shorthanded and without one of their best on-ball defenders. Maryland has eight players on the active roster, and its next game is Monday night against No. 2 Connecticut in Hartford as part of the Jimmy V Classic.
“My spirits are pretty high now,” said Mincy, whose tore the ACL in her left knee in high school. “I have all my teammates around me and the coaching staff. There’s nothing that I can do about it now or anyone else can do about it now. Just being sad is really not going to help anything.”
The rash of ACL tears on the women’s basketball team comes in the aftermath of four members of the Maryland football team absorbing the same injuries. Starting quarterback C.J. Brown tore an ACL during the preseason, and backup quarterbacks turned starters Perry Hills and Caleb Rowe, both freshmen, suffered torn ACLs during the regular season, as did starting linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield.