Maryland women's basketball loses to Boston College, 78-69, to fall to 0-2 in ACC

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 13, 2011; 11:21 PM

The 13th-ranked Maryland women's basketball team lost to Boston College, 78-69, on Thursday night at Comcast Center. Let's just get that out of the way first before addressing the numbing particulars of why the Terrapins remain winless in the ACC and have dropped two in a row after 12 consecutive victories yielded the promise of perhaps a deep run in the NCAA tournament.

What at first blush may appear most disconcerting was Maryland's performance from three-point range, where it missed 19 of 20 attempts for a season-low 5 percent. Entering the game shooting 27 percent from behind the arc, the Terrapins missed all eight tries in the first half, and their only made shot came from junior guard Kim Rodgers with 8 minutes 7 seconds to play that whittled the deficit to 55-52.

Maryland's prodigious failings from long distance, however, barely scratched the surface of how it could lose a game in which it held an offensive rebounding advantage of 31-12, forced 22 turnovers while committing 11, recorded 12 steals and took a season-high 85 shots, nearly 30 more than the Eagles.

At least equally as responsible was the Terrapins' season-low 43 percent from the free throw line. Maryland (13-3, 0-2) missed 16 of 28 free throws, including 7 of 12 in the second half.

It did cut the deficit to 59-55 with 5:09 to play on Lynetta Kizer's foul shot before the junior center's layup soon after pulled the Terrapins within 61-59. But Boston College (14-3, 1-1), which opened the second half with an 18-2 surge that gave it the lead for good, responded with a three-pointer from Korina Chapman and a layup by Stefanie Murphy to regain a somewhat comfortable margin. Then the Eagles did what their opponent struggled so mightily to accomplish: They made foul shots, 7 of 10 down the stretch, to close out the victory.

"I'm not sure what we did well in this game from the offensive end or the defensive end," Maryland Coach Brenda Frese said. "Picked a tough night for everyone to have a bad night on the same night in ACC play."

Kizer led Maryland with a game-high 22 points and added 10 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. Freshman guard-forward Alyssa Thomas had 18 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, but she and Kizer combined to go 6 for 12 from the line. Starting forwards Diandra Tchatchouang and Tianna Hawkins, both sophomores, went 2 for 10 collectively on foul shots.

Foul-shooting breakdowns may not have doomed Maryland completely, but those missed points, especially in the first half, no doubt would have been invaluable given the Terrapins' off-day - and that's putting it mildly - from three-point range. Maryland managed to craft an eight-point lead at the half even after missing nine free throws, and had it made just above its season average of 64 percent from the line before intermission, the complexion of the game thereafter might have been drastically different.

Maryland's foul shooting in recent games hadn't been exactly exceptional, but spotty showings from there didn't really become a glaring issue as the Terrapins kept winning. Even when they shot especially poorly from the line, such as 11 for 22 against Loyola or 14 of 25 against St. Joseph's, the Terrapins were able to win by masking that deficiency with forceful interior play.

Maryland certainly did that against Boston College with a 44-28 margin in points in the paint and 27-8 on second-chance points. Yet those advantages were not nearly enough to offset Boston College going 8 of 18 from three-point range, 18 of 22 from the foul line and shooting 56 percent during a second half in which it scored 51 points.

"It's just a lack of focus on our end," Kizer said. "It's something that we have to get back to at practice tomorrow. Just do a better job concentrating and finishing. Once we get to the finishing the plays, I think we'll be fine. We just have to really focus on putting the ball in the basket."


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