Monday's late game

Maryland women topple Virginia, 61-60

By Gene Wang
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 13, 2010

CHARLOTTESVILLE -- The Maryland women's basketball team took a significant step toward overcoming its road deficiencies with a dramatic 61-60 victory over No. 23 Virginia on Monday night at John Paul Jones Arena.

Senior guard Lori Bjork scored a season-high 20 points, and sophomore center Lynetta Kizer added 19 points and a game-high 14 rebounds for the Terrapins, who had lost three of four on the road and almost wasted a six-point lead in the closing minutes.

But in the final few seconds, Maryland surrounded Virginia senior guard Monica Wright (Forest Park) after she received the inbounds pass and forced a wild shot as time expired, spoiling a milestone night for the 2006 All-Met Player of the Year and this season's ACC preseason player of the year. Earlier in the second half, Wright had passed Dawn Staley as Virginia's all-time scoring leader.

As Wright lay on the court in disbelief, Maryland celebrated after an exhausting game in which it outshot Virginia 46 percent to 31 percent and won the three-point battle, making 41 percent (7 of 17) to the Cavaliers' 22 (4 for 18). Maryland won despite 28 turnovers to 13 for Virginia.

"We talked about coming into this game, there was no regrets," Maryland Coach Brenda Frese said. "We didn't want to have any regrets by the time the game ended. Just focusing on the little things, possession by possession. This team is still growing and I thought [the players] just did a tremendous job moving past the last game and moving forward for this game."

Frese was referring to a 73-45 loss to North Carolina State in Thursday's ACC opener in which the Terrapins (13-3, 1-1) fell behind early and had to play catch-up virtually all game. Against Virginia, Maryland was the aggressor, twice building eight-point leads in the first half and then opening the second half on a 9-0 run for a 41-32 advantage.

But the Cavaliers (11-5, 0-2) surged back and drew within one on Wright's three-pointer with 13 minutes 1 second remaining. Virginia then took its first lead of the game, 50-49, with 10:01 left after Chelsea Shine made the front end of a one-and-one.

Maryland scored 11 of the next 15 points and led 60-54 with 4:03 remaining.

The Cavaliers answered with four consecutive points, and after the Terrapins' Dara Taylor (10 points, 11 assists) made 1 of 2 foul shots, they had a chance to tie when Telia McCall scored and was fouled while shooting. But she missed the bonus free throw, and Maryland collected the loose ball and called timeout as players from both teams dove to the court.

Diandra Tchatchouang received the ensuing inbounds pass and was fouled, but she missed both free throws. Wright (20 points) got the rebound off the second miss, dribbled in front of the Virginia bench and called timeout with three seconds left.

The inbounds pass went to Wright, who dribbled to the left baseline as Maryland converged and made the clinching defensive stand.

After the game, Virginia honored Wright with a ceremony commemorating her establishing the school's all-time scoring record, which now stands at 2,142 points. Staley's record was 2,135.

The Terrapins didn't stick around to watch, instead heading to their locker room to celebrate their eighth victory over Virginia in nine games. Maryland also won a rare game over Virginia in Charlottesville, where the Terrapins are 9-22 against their ACC rival.

"It is satisfying," Bjork, who made 6 of 10 three-pointers, said of the win. "Obviously we love playing in front of our home fans, but it's kind of an awesome feeling walking off the court and hearing the shower of boos because you got the best of them that game, and they're upset about it. That's always fun."

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