The Maryland faithful fans gathered tonight at Comcast Center to cheer on their red-hot women’s team.
I wish I could say the game’s outcome was ever in question, but that would be a bold-faced lie.
This was slated to be a very emotional night for the lady Terrapins.
It was Senior Night in College Park.
Two of Maryland’s best athletes are entering the twilight of their careers, playing perhaps the best basketball this team has ever played.
They did not disappoint their hometown crowd.
No. 5 Maryland (24-4, 11-2 ACC) knocked out the Boston College Eagles 86-74, for their eighth straight win.
Seniors Kristi Toliver and Marissa Coleman have been phenomenal during this winning streak.
Entering the game, Toliver had averaged 19.6 points per game on 50.3 percent shooting.
Her partner-in-crime Coleman had averaged 21.3 points per game on 54.3 percent shooting.
It was more of the same showing from this dynamic duo, as they combined to score 59 of their team’s total points.
Coleman scored a career-high 32 points, and Toliver added 27 points.
The victory ties Maryland atop of the ACC standings with the Florida State Seminoles. (23-6, 11-2 ACC)
The Terrapins have not lost a game since dropping an 89-81 decision to the Virginia Cavaliers on Feb. 2.
Maryland head coach Brenda Frese demonstrated her appreciation for her seniors’ leadership skills.
“They continue to put this team on their back,” said Frese. “We needed to get a quick start and needed to be ready from the tip. We’ve been able to ride the hot hand of these two.”
Toliver and Coleman were freshman on the National Championship squad that upset Duke 68-65 in 2006.
If they keep performing like they have to end the regular season in 2009, another NCAA title might be on the horizon.
Maryland has one more game left against the Miami Hurricanes (13-14, 2-10 ACC) on Sunday.
And then it is on to the ACC tournament.
Comcast Center will host two postseason games on March 22 and March 24.
Maryland’s first 30 points were scored by Toliver and Coleman.
Coleman went 12-of-19 from the field, and was perfect from the charity stripe.
She drained all six of her free throw attempts.
Toliver sank eight of her 16 shot attempts, and was eight of nine from the free throw line.
Boston College Coach Slyvia Crawley christened them college basketball’s hottest players.
“They’re incredible players,” said Crawley. “They have unbelievable instincts, they know where the other is going to be on the court before the defense can get set up. That’s what makes them special.”
The Eagles (18-10, 6-7 ACC) were a formidable opponent this evening.
Three players scored in double figures.
Mickel Picco led the way for her team, netting 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
Lauren Whitehurst finished the game with 16 points, and Stephanie Murphy added 15 points respectively.
Boston College hung tough, and kept Maryland from going on a big run.
However as the game wore on, the fouls began to mount.
Senior players make big plays.
Coleman iced the victory with that sweet stroke of hers, while the Eagles grabbed the backs of their shorts in pure exhaustion.
Maryland center Lynetta Kizer (Potomac, VA High School) was the only other Terrapin player to score in double figures besides Toliver and Coleman.
She finished the game with 10 points and four rebounds.
Kristi Toliver and Marissa Coleman had their jerseys raised to the rafters at Comcast Center in a pre-game celebration.
Crystal Langhorne had her jersey raised in her senior year on Feb. 24, 2008.
Toliver, Coleman, and Langhorne are the only players in Maryland history to be honored while still active.