Marissa Coleman's Performance Is One for the Ages

Marissa Coleman single-handedly brought Maryland back from the brink by scoring a program-record 42 points in the Terrapins' regional semifinal victory over Vanderbilt.
Marissa Coleman single-handedly brought Maryland back from the brink by scoring a program-record 42 points in the Terrapins' regional semifinal victory over Vanderbilt. (By Toni L. Sandys -- The Washington Post)
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By Mike Wise
Sunday, March 29, 2009

RALEIGH, N.C.

Marissa. Exhale.

Coleman.

There are heirloom games and clutch performances this time of year. There is also unbelievable late-game execution under incredible stress. And then there is what happened at the RBC Center on Saturday in the round of 16 of the NCAA women's basketball tournament.

Say it again, this time breathing even more deeply. Let out everything in your lungs, like she did, until every worry -- every fear -- disappears.

MarissaColeman.

Her unwillingness to let Maryland's season and this four-year, magic-carpet ride end, her indefatigable spirit in the crucible of Vanderbilt's upset try, is why she and her jubilant teammates are one victory away from the Final Four.

Forty-two points.

Fifteen rebounds.

Pressurized, pull-up jumpers in the lane.

Desperate defense against Vandy's Christina Wirth, whom Coleman asked to guard in the final eight minutes because "I didn't want her to be the reason our season ended."

Coleman not only scored 16 more points than any woman has in the nearly 10 years the building has been open, she broke Stephen Curry's 2008 arena scoring record of 40 points in last year's first round of the men's tournament. Stephen Curry!


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