Tonight, sprite and I trekked up to the University of Maryland to see the top-rated UConn Huskies women’s basketball team take on the #7 Maryland Terrapins.
We’ve seen UConn play in DC a couple of times, against their former Big East rival, Georgetown. Both of those games were lopsided affairs, with UConn dominating from the opening tip-off. Both times, UConn was able to rest its starters for long stretches of the game, while Georgetown had to work its top players for most of the game.
This game wasn’t nearly as clear-cut. Maryland is a strong team, with a deep bench and one of the top coaches in the country in Brenda Frese. And UConn was down two players, including one of their usual starters.
We missed part of the first half of the game as it had an early start – 6pm – and the drive from DC was in rush hour traffic. So after parking, buying tickets, and finding our seats, 8-or-so minutes of the game had elapsed, and the score was tied at 21.
UConn’s game was good, but not great. They had very little offensive rebounding, and while their shot selection was decent, they made some sloppy plays and committed some unnecessary fouls.
Maryland wasn’t perfect, either. They rebounded well, but made some poor shots and sometimes seemed to forget where they were supposed to be on the court. Going into halftime, the score was still very close.
The second half started out close, with Maryland taking a brief, 1 point lead about 2 minutes in. After that, though, UConn found its groove. Shots kept falling, and those that didn’t saw the Huskies swoop in for the rebound. Breanna Stewart was capable of scoring from any distance, and the fleet feet and always-aware eyes of Moriah Jefferson caused fits among the unsuspecting Terrapins (Jefferson impressed us just a much last year against the Hoyas).
By the final buzzer, the Huskies had dispatched the Terps, 72 to 55. But the Maryland fans never gave up hope, and loudly cheered their team.
We had a fun time, for sure, and may see another game before the season is out. The Terps are certainly top-10 material, and should have some great games this season.