Maryland Women Open ACC Tournament Play
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Good morning from Greensboro, where the top-seeded Maryland women will face off against ninth-seeded Wake Forest at 3 p.m. this afternoon in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. I'll be online at 11 a.m. to take your questions; check it out here.
The Demon Deacons, who were picked to finish last in the ACC preseason poll, are something of a surprise; they came into the tournament having lost five of their last six games, including two defeats to N.C. State. But they topped the Wolfpack, the tournament's sentimental favorite, 59-54, yesterday. Wake Forest is fighting for what would be only its second-ever NCAA tournament bid, and a win over the Terrapins would certainly strengthen its case.
Maryland beat the Demon Deacons, 92-65, in the conference opener for both teams on Jan. 8; the Terrapins opened the game on a 20-0 run. Here's what Wake Forest Coach Mike Petersen said yesterday about playing Maryland:
"The first thing you have to do to beat Maryland is score points, because they're going to score points. They're the best, in my opinion, the best offensive team in the league by a mile. They're a team that defines itself offensively. That doesn't mean that they don't guard, that means they're a team whose image is built around their offensive prowess. So to beat them, you have to score some points," Petersen said.
"The second thing you got to do is you've got to minimize as best you can, [Kristi] Toliver and [Marissa] Coleman. You're not going to stop them. That's out. Unless someone has some kryptonite in here that we can borrow tomorrow, there's no way we're stopping them tomorrow. But what you've got to do is minimize them, make them work for shots. You can't let them take the shots they want, you have to make them make plays they don't want to make. If you do that, then I think you have a chance."
I expect to see a lot of Maryland fans in the stands today; the Rebounders—the team's booster organization—sold out an allotment of 60 rooms at the Drury Inn. There seemed to be quite a few Terp fans in the arena yesterday, though they blended in with the red-clad N.C. State supporters. Maryland's coaches and players watched the Wake Forest game; both Brenda Frese and Kristi Toliver signed autographs and posed for pictures with fans, and a big cheer went up when Marissa Coleman (headphones on, digging into what appeared to be a cup of Dippin' Dots) and then Frese were shown on the big screen.
What are your thoughts about today's game? Can Wake Forest slow down Coleman and Toliver?
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