The energy in the air was electric at the Comcast Center in College Park, Maryland last night.
On Saturday, the Maryland Terrapins’ men’s basketball team scored a huge upset of No.3 North Carolina, 88-85 in overtime.
With the 16, 344 Terps fans screaming wildly, the women’s team put together a worthy performance to make it a clean sweep in the divisional matchups for both programs.
Maryland (23-4, 10-2 ACC) played unselfish basketball, and notched their seventh win in a row, dropping the No. 7 Duke Blue Devils 77-59.
The Terrapins star seniors Kristi Toliver and Marissa Coleman combined to score 58 of Maryland 77 points, and continued the torrid winning streak started by this red-hot squad, after a loss in Charlottesville to the Virginia Cavaliers.
I have a feeling the Lady Terrapins are not going to taste defeat anytime soon.
Toliver finished with 34 points, one short of her career-high.
Coleman scored 24 points, which gave her exactly 2,000 for her career.
She is the eighth woman in Atlantic Coast Conference history to have at-least 2,000 points, and 1,000 rebounds.
She now has 1,035 rebounds in her dubious career.
Their 23rd victory of the season means that this class is the winningest in school history.
Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie praised these two dynamos for their offensive prowess.
“You have to compliment Toliver and Coleman,” said McCallie. “I don’t think I have ever seen a stat sheet with 34 and 24 from two guard spots. That’s pretty remarkable.”
Kristi Toliver washed away a painful memory for herself in the process.
She missed a potential game-winning three-pointer in Maryland’s 68-65 loss at Duke (22-4, 9-3 ACC) on Jan. 12.
In this first meeting of the season, Toliver’s teammates did not deliver.
She scored 17 points in the first half on 7-for-12 shooting, while the rest of the Terps finished 2-for-20 shooting.
The first half of last night’s second game between Maryland and Duke was no indication of how the game would end.
Duke led at halftime 33-31.
But Maryland started the second half on a 10-0 run.
Coleman drained a pull-up jump shot, and Toliver sank a long-range shot with her toe cradling the line at the top of the key.
Then Toliver capitalized on an inbounds pass, to swish a three-pointer in front of a nervous Duke bench.
She stole the ball on Duke’s next offensive possession, and found a waiting Coleman for a three-pointer.
Before Duke could catch their breath, Maryland had opened up a 43-31 lead.
The Blue Devils never recovered after this game-changing sequence of events.
When Coleman drove to the land and hit a running layup, the score was 58-46 with 10 minutes 17 seconds left in regulation.
Toliver and Coleman had scored all of Maryland’s 27 second-half points.
Maryland coach Brenda Frese’s fears that her team would come up flat tonight, were put to bed by her go-to-girls.
“These guys have done this all season long at different times,” said Frese. “I thought it was great—in the second half [Toliver] got Riss going, and we just started clicking on all cylinders. That’s what great players do; they make great plays and they understand when they have to get their teammates involved. She was patient and Marissa was able to come around.”
Despite getting little offensive production from their three other starters, Maryland held Duke down defensively.
Lynetta Kizer, Dee Liles, and Marah Strickland combined to score a measly 14 points, but harassed the Blue Devils into shooting 33.8 percent for the game.
Strickland had drawn the tough defensive assignments this year.
She was asked to guard Duke stand-out shooter Abby Waner in this contest.
Waner could not find the lanes open very often, and was forced into off-angled shots.
She finished 2-for-11 shooting, and her backcourt teammate Jasmine Thomas missed 14 of her 15 shots.
Thomas finished with six points.
Senior leadership for the Maryland Terrapins won over the crowd, and buried the hopes of a rival’s wish to seize control of the game.
Loud cheers could be heard throughout Comcast Center, as Kristi Toliver and Marissa Coleman left the game for good with 1:43 left on the game clock.
“I was sitting there during starting lineups, and I saw all these glow sticks waving around,” said an energized Coleman. I just wanted to make it a special night. Kristi and I almost outscored them. I think that’s a pretty special evening.”
Senior guard Sa’de Wiley-Gatewood has left the team for personal reasons.
Since being named the 2004 Parade All-American player of the year, she has transferred from Tennessee to Maryland, and sat out her sophomore season with knee problems.
According to Brenda Frese, she will remain in school and graduate in May.
Maryland now has hosted the 10 biggest crowds in ACC history.
Nine out of 10 were at Comcast Center.