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AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
By Ted Miller
Ah, but a snowy weekend on the Palouse sent a whisper through the chill: Fear the turtle. The Terrapins might have what it takes to catch those touted hares.
Looking every bit like the frisky, multidimensional team that clawed its way to a national title in 2006 -- as opposed to the second-round washout of a year ago -- Maryland overwhelmed Vanderbilt from bell-to-bell in an 80-66 victory.
Frese isn't eager to suddenly start bleeping on the radar, though she clearly thinks her Terps are being sold short.
"I love it right where it's at. It reminds me of two years ago," she said. "It's amazing you can continue to dismiss this team, being [33-3] and not see the positives of how this team plays."
It's hard to beat a team that owns the paint. And the perimeter. It's hard to win when a team is superior running. And in the half court.
Heck, the typically turnover-prone Terrapins only committed 15 miscues -- only five of which came before the break, when there was a still whiff of mystery as to who might prevail. That was one of many reasons their halftime advantage was 44-29. Vanderbilt had been forcing 20.4 per game.
Another big reason: lots of scoring options.
Against a defense sixth-year Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb called the best she has coached, four Terps hit double figures, topped by another tour-de-force performance from senior forward Crystal Langhorne, who scored 28 points and pulled down nine rebounds.
Maryland hit 50.9 percent of its shots from the field. That's just slightly better than its season percentage of 49.3 percent, which ranked second in the nation.
Vanderbilt pulled within 12 early in the second half. But any thoughts of a rally were quickly doused when guard Kristi Toliver drove for a hoop, grabbed a steal on the ensuing possession and scampered for a layup on the other end.
The margin topped out at 21. The overwhelmed and youthful Commodores -- they start two freshmen and a sophomore -- never mustered a serious threat. More
By Mechelle Voepel
By Mechelle Voepel
NEW ORLEANS -- Erlana Larkins doesn't mess around. She tells it like it is, and here's the way it was for North Carolina on Saturday: The Heels were in big, big trouble. Larkins struggled so much at the beginning of the game that her confidence started to fade."This was a crazy game," she said. "It was unbelievable. This was god-awful. I'm out there shooting air balls and going, 'Oh, my goodness. What's going on?'" She was referring to her own performance, not that of her teammates. The Tar Heels star, who went 2-for-12 from the field, didn't play anything like the All-American she is. And yet, the No. 1 seed in the New Orleans Regional survived. Despite showing klutzy end-of-game management, missing 19 free throws, being outrebounded by 12, having just 11 assists to 25 turnovers, shooting only 40 percent from the field, seeing Louisville's Angel McCoughtry score 35 points North Carolina is in the Elite Eight. The Tar Heels defeated No. 4 seed Louisville 78-74 at New Orleans Arena, a game in which the Cardinals led by as much as 18 points in the first half. Yeah, that's right -- 18 points! It was the Tar Heels' biggest deficit this season. The top-seeded team was getting buried, and the experience the Cardinals had gained playing UConn and Rutgers twice this season was paying off. More
By Ted Miller
SPOKANE, Wash. -- Stanford guard Candice Wiggins, the three-time Pac-10 player of the year, crashed to the floor and into the base of the backboard. For a moment, she stayed down while Cardinal fans went ballistic on Pittsburgh's Taneisha Harrison, who did the decking.Then, Wiggins got up. Slowly at first and then with more resolve. Which is sort of what second-seeded Stanford did against a scrappy challenge from the No. 6 Panthers. Stanford, notorious of late for going belly-up come tournament time, proved it can win messy. It proved it can win with the greatest player in program history badly out of sorts. And it proved it can win a brawl. More
By Graham Hays
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- As Red from "The Shawshank Redemption" might say, Kimberly Beck is the kind of person who knows how to find things on the basketball court.The senior point guard knows how to find her open teammates; she'll leave George Washington as the school's all-time leader in assists. She knows how to find the ball on defense; she enters Sunday's game against No. 2 seed Rutgers (ESPN2, 2:30 p.m. ET) 24 steals shy of the program record. And she knows how to find a path for her team to reach the Sweet 16, a place the program had never been in back-to-back seasons until a 55-53 win over No. 3 seed Cal on Monday in the second round sent it through for the second year in a row.
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Kimberly Beck runs her team as well as any point guard in the country. But she is 3-for-21 from the field so far in the tourney.
By Mechelle Voepel