Maryland's New Long Range Weapon

By Jeff Lippman - March 30, 2008


Well, I said that Maryland needed a big game from Kristi Toliver to get out of their recent funk and advance to Monday's Elite Eight.

I was wrong. Maryland got just 8 points out of Toliver and the junior missed every three-pointer she took. She's now shooting 2-for-16 from long range. And the Terps still breezed into the round of eight.

How?

Freshman Marah Strickland.

All season Maryland's starters looked like a game of "which one doesn't belong?" as Toliver, Crystal Langhorne, Laura Harper and Marissa Coleman filled the stat sheet while the other starter, Strickland, struggled to get shots.

And why should the frosh get shots in this offense? Maryland's other four starters could make up a serviceable WNBA team.

But Maryland did need Toliver's production to beat Vandy...they just got it out of Strickland.

Finishing with 13 points and 3-for-5 long-range shooting, Strickland did the job for Toliver, allowing Maryland's point guard to concentrate on her other skills. The Terp PG dished out 8 assists and is averaging that for the tournament and even more impressively, only coughed the ball up once.

Maryland quieted the critics - me, among others - with tonight's performance. Langhorne once again led the way for the Terrapins with another 28-point performance to go with 9 rebounds. Coleman scored 19 points and Laura Harper added 11.

To reach their second Final Four in three seasons, Maryland must first go through the 2-seed Stanford, who played Pitt close at the half, but pulled away in the second half for a 72-53 runaway win.

The Cardinal will by far be Maryland's toughest test.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 01:25 AM on March 30, 2008
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