Rhode Island Coach Boe Pearman experienced some memorable moments as a player and an assistant coach at Maryland. But Pearman's biggest coaching achievement might have come yesterday when her Rams stunned Maryland, 70-64, in the final of the Terrapin Classic at Comcast Center.
The Rams took advantage of Maryland's injury-depleted front line and controlled the game with offensive patience. Shayla Johnson scored a game-high 30 points, 19 after intermission, to help Rhode Island rally from a 31-24 halftime deficit.
Maryland center Angel Ross sprained an ankle in the game's first three minutes and never returned. With backup center Crystal Washington out because of a blood disorder and forward Charmaine Carr in early foul trouble, Maryland Coach Brenda Frese was forced to use four- and five-guard lineups. Pearman often countered with four forwards, and Rhode Island (4-0) enjoyed a 40-31 rebounding advantage and relatively easy shots inside.
"I really thought the better team won," Frese said. "Lack of height in the post . . . we couldn't counter for it. We're obviously very thin in the post."
Renneika Razor led Maryland with 20 points, and Vicki Brick added 13, but the Terrapins often looked disjointed on offense.
The victory was particularly sweet for Pearman, who played on three Atlantic Coast Conference championship teams and the school's first Final Four squad. She then was a Maryland assistant coach from 1985 to 1997 and took over at Rhode Island in 1999.
"It's always nice to come home," said Pearman, who ranks 15th on Maryland's career scoring list and is one of 19 Terrapins to score more than 1,000 points. "I've been gone now for six years, but I love Maryland. I will always love Maryland; I spent 17 years here, but my career kind of moved."
Rhode Island cut off the Maryland fast break that was so effective in Friday's 104-66 rout of Rider. The Rams constantly got two players back on defense, and aside from scoring the final nine points of the first half, the undersized Terrapins struggled in the half-court offense.
"They did a great job," Razor said. "They did what they had to do."
Chrys Washington (10 points, nine rebounds) hit two big jumpers that helped the Rams take a 66-57 lead with one minute left and give their coach a big homecoming victory.
"I was very proud with our team's grit and determination," Pearman said. "We're a blue-collar team, [and] they really played with a passion today."
* GEORGETOWN 79, NORTHEASTERN 66: Four Hoyas starters reached double figures in scoring in the first round of the Charity Classic in Bridgeport, Conn.
Mary Lisicky had a game-high 21 points, Rebekkah Brunson (Oxon Hill) and Nok Duany had 15 and Sarah Jenkins (Riverdale Baptist) had 10.
The Hoyas (3-0) used a 17-0 run early in the second half to come back from nine points down.
* VIRGINIA 57, LONG ISLAND 46: Sophomore guard Cherrise Graham scored a game-high 17 points, grabbed five rebounds and added four assists to lead the Cavaliers at home.
* VIRGINIA TECH 72, WASHINGTON STATE 50: Erin Gibson scored 16 points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked two shots to lead the Hokies (2-1) in the consolation game of the Golden Panther Thanksgiving Tournament in Miami.