Third-Ranked Maryland Women Open With Stunning Loss to TCU
Saturday, November 15, 2008
TK LaFleur scored 28 points and host Texas Christian upset No. 3 Maryland, 80-68, last night in the season opener for both teams.
It certainly wasn't the kind of start Kristi Toliver, a preseason all-American, and the Terrapins wanted after last season, when they went 33-4 and advanced to a region final of the NCAA tournament.
"Obviously, we didn't come out with that same sense of urgency that they did and they really capitalized on it," Toliver said. "It's an extremely disappointing start. . . . It's better that we start the season this way than end it. We're going to stay as optimistic as possible."
For the Lady Frogs, it was a huge victory to start Coach Jeff Mittie's 10th season, matching the highest-ranked opponent TCU has beaten. It defeated No. 3 Georgia four years ago.
"I didn't see this win coming necessarily," Mittie said, smiling.
LaFleur, who sat out last season after transferring from Nebraska, made 10 of 17 shots, including four three-pointers. Helena Sverrisdottir added 18 points.
Marissa Coleman led Maryland with 15 points, and freshman Lynetta Kizer had 12 points and 15 rebounds. Toliver finished with 11 points on 4-of-16 shooting.
The Lady Frogs scored the game's first 11 points. They then opened the second half with a 9-0 run, ending any thoughts of a Maryland comeback.
The Terrapins are depending on three sophomores and four freshmen to surround seniors Toliver and Coleman. Maryland shot only 34 percent (22 of 64) and had 17 turnovers.
"Obviously, we showed our youth and lost a lot of poise and a lot of confidence," Terrapins Coach Brenda Frese said. "Hopefully, we're able to learn from this and be able to move on and get better."
LaFleur made the opening shot 11 seconds into the game. She made another basket a minute later, and the Lady Frogs led 11-0 after Micah Garoutte's jumper with 17 minutes 14 seconds left.
Maryland had turnovers on each of its first three possessions without getting off a shot. The Terrapins were 0-for-5 shooting with five turnovers before Kizer made two free throws 3:11 into the game. Toliver and Coleman had two turnovers each in that early stretch.
Drey Mingo's basket after a bounce pass from Toliver in the closing minute of the first half cut TCU's lead to 33-28. It was Toliver's third assist of the game and 584th of her career, one more than Debbie Lytle's school record set from 1980 to 1983.
· VIRGINIA 78, HIGH POINT 48: Ariana Moorer scored 19 points in her collegiate debut, Monica Wright added 16 and the No. 15 Cavaliers got double-figure scoring from three others in a season-opening win.
The strong performance came only a few hours after the school announced that forward Lyndra Littles, the team's No. 2 returning scorer and rebounder, was ruled academically ineligible for the fall semester.
· VIRGINIA TECH 59, UNC GREENSBORO 53: The Hokies took an 18-point lead into halftime and held on for a season-opening win in Blacksburg, Va. Utahya Drye had 15 points and nine rebounds to pace Virginia Tech.
· AMERICAN 70, NJIT 63: Talicia Jackson scored 11 points, and Matt Corkery earned his first win as the Eagles' coach.
· BUCKNELL 62, GEORGE MASON 51: Amanda Brown scored 22 points as the visiting Bison spoiled Jeri Porter's debut as the Patriots' coach.
· OHIO 63, NAVY 48: Jenny Poff's 15 points and seven rebounds paced the Bobcats in Annapolis. Cassie Consedine scored 17 points for the Midshipmen, playing their first game under new coach Stefanie Pemper.