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Monday, February 25, 2008

I Was There When...

So for all of you wondering, yes, INRCP did attend the women's basketball game on Sunday. And in no way did it disappoint.

The Terps' senior class, I think, wanted to show one last time that "Overtime is Our Time." That's probably the best explanation they can give, anyway.

Facing a 16-10 Seminole team, the Lady Terps were challenged from tip-off. If you look at the box score, you'll notice that Maryland was superior in rebounds (51 to 30) and shot at a significantly better percentage (56.6% to 39.2%). The only reason that Florida State stayed in the hunt was turnovers (23 to 7). Maryland committed a string of travel violations in the first half that was very alarming, but settled down after awhile. In the second half, they committed another string of turnovers that erased a nine-point lead.

So down by one with 33 seconds left, Alysha Harvin stood at the free throw line and made the first shot. Ouch. The stadium got as loud as it's ever been for the Maryland women, and Harvin clanked the next shot. Maryland rebound.

I think everyone knew then that this team would win. All season, they've been too good. The seniors throughout their careers were too good to let this one slip. As it happened, Marissa Coleman drove into the post for the tying layup. Overtime. The rest is history.

But the most incredible moment besides the tying layup and the subsequent eruption was watching a walking Maryland legend being honored at the end of the game. It was wonderful to watch them unveil No. 1 in the rafters next to the national championship banner that she helped earn.

I've said multiple times that looking at stats alone, she has to be the best basketball player - male or female - that Maryland's ever had. But there's more to it than that, as DBK columnist Mark Selig wrote today. I wouldn't say she embodies what Maryland athletics is about, but rather she has the qualities that all athletes should have. She is a competitor, but she is graceful and a good sport. By all accounts, she does what she has to do in the classroom, even though she'll probably make money in the WNBA and overseas in her basketball career.

It occurred to me that one day, I might say to someone, "I was there when they hung No. 1 in Comcast." For years to come, we'll all have the opportunity to look up and see the jersey of the greatest player that ever stepped foot in Maryland, and in two years elevated them from a 10-18 team to a national championship.

It was nice to see Crystal get her moment, and hopefully she'll still have a handful left before her college career is over.

Go Terps and thank you all seniors for your wonderful years here!


Brien said...

I've actually been following the Lady Terps more this year than I ever have (due in no small part to INRCP's coverage), but I have to disagree with you on Langhorne.

I was there when they hung #3 in the rafters at Cole Field House. That was the greatest player to set foot on the court at Maryland.

Hopefully the women's team can step it up in the tournament!

KGoon1590 said...

yeah, i can't argue with you there. i was actually talking about number juan with someone last night. during the national championship year, you always felt comfortable when he had the ball. you knew when he took a shot that he was going to score in the clutch. i was a lot younger at the time, but i don't forget that feeling of security dixon provided, and we haven't had anyone like that since.

JC said...

Bias ends all the discussion, but the Lady Terps have been the best story out of College Park for the last three seasons.