The University of Maryland women's basketball team got a small measure of Atlantic Coast Conference revenge for the College Park school yesterday, handing an 83-68 defeat to the University of North Carolina in a regionally televised game at Cole Field House.
The 15th-ranked Terps (15-4) continued their season Wednesday night against West Chester State (Pa.) in the Eastern Regionals of the Eastern Athletic Intercollegiate Association for Women tournament at Temple University. The top two finishers in the 16-team tournament travel to the national championships on March 23 at the University of Minnesota.
"This was a preparation game for that tournament," said Maryland coach Chris Weller, who started her four graduating seniors and used all 14 of her players. "We wanted to give everyone a lot of minutes today. We're going to need a team effort to get through this weekend's tournament."
Weller's two centers, senior Angie Scott and 6-foot-5 freshman Krystal Kemrey, each had 12 points to lead the Terps' balanced attack with saw 12 of the 14 players score. Debbie Stewart and Tara Heiss, two customary starters came off the bench today so that the seniors could start. Each had 10 points.
"Getting more of our players into the offense makes us that much more difficult to stop," explained Weller. "And we're at a point now where we're emotionally and mentally ready.
Maylands's senior-dominated starting lincup was never more effective than during a fine-minute span of the secound half when they built a 25-point lead on a 19-6 spurt. Kimrey, who had a team-leading 14 rebounds and three blocked shots while playing only in the second half, scored seven during the spree and Scott and Page Croyder each added four.
North Carolina, which has suffered through a 8-16 season, cut the 25-point deficit to seven, 67-60, with 5:23 to play, but Weller reinserted her usual starters and they rebuilt the advantage with heiss' full-court dashes and Doreen Lefeged's four steals.
In the first half, however, Weller needed her sharters when, with 9:17 to play before intermission, her team was holding a tenuous 16-15 lead that had been exchanged with the Tar Heels several times in the previous minutes.
Heiss took care of that, feeding Stewart on one fast-break layup and hitting two jump shots to spark the Terps to a 10-0 advantage that helped them to a 39-26 halftime lead.
Stewart led the first-half frolic with 10 points and Mary Breise, the only junior among Maryland's five starters, had seven. Scott, Martha Hastings and Heiss each added four in the half.