7:00 PM ET, January 10, 2008
BOSTON (AP) -- Carolyn Swords was going to high school nearby when Maryland brought a bunch of underclassmen to the new Boston Garden and won the 2006 NCAA championship.Now she's a Boston College freshman, and those title-winning Terrapins are seniors and juniors who have the school back near the top of women's college basketball."I was very excited to play a nationally ranked team," Swords said, still grinning even though her 28 points and 13 rebounds couldn't stop No. 4 Maryland from beating BC 88-61 on Thursday night. "It was very exciting to play those players from that team that won."Crystal Langhorne had 18 points and 18 rebounds to break the Maryland career rebounding record set by Len Elmore and help the Terrapins (19-1, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) win their ninth straight game. Kristi Toliver, who as a freshman sank a 3-pointer to force overtime in the championship game, had a season-high 26 points to go with seven assists."I can't say enough about the leadership that our seniors and our juniors bring to this team," said interim coach Daron Park, who is filling in on road games because Brenda Frese is expecting twins in March and her doctors told her not to travel."You have no idea. It's amazing what this team has done for me, not only as a coach but just as a person. The way they welcomed me into the Maryland family, some of the things I've learned along the way."BC coach Cathy Inglese didn't expect Frese's absence to be the Eagles' big chance for an upset."Brenda could have kids every year during the season" and they'd still be good, Inglese said. "The whole staff is doing a great job getting them prepared. You've got to give a lot of credit to them."Swords has known that since attending the '06 national semifinals and then watching Maryland beat Duke in the title game on TV. But the 6-foot-6 freshman from suburban Sudbury was neither nervous nor overmatched, going 12-for-16 from the floor -- the only BC player in double figures and the only one to make more than half of her shots."She was so excited about this game. To me, that's a very good sign, to have a freshman who's not intimidated by the No. 4 team in the country," Inglese said. "She said, 'I can't wait.' She was very excited to see players she'd seen on TV. She wanted to go against them."The same was true for throughout the BC lineup."They knew Maryland was a veteran team. They have a lot of experience. They weren't intimidated by it," Inglese said. "If you're going to lose, learn from it."Langhorne came into the game needing seven rebounds to break the school mark of 1,053 that was set by Elmore before he went on to a 10-year career in the ABA and NBA. She got the record-breaker on Ayla Brown's missed layup with 9:13 left in the first half and finished the game with 1,065 career boards."I've definitely seen him on campus and seen him on TV," Langhorne said. "It means a lot, just to be in that category. But I still focus on team goals."Maryland led from the first free throw, opening a 13-3 lead with 14:10 left in the first half and going up by 15, 29-14, before BC staged any sort of rally. Swords had a pair of second-chance baskets as the Eagles scored eight straight points.But the Terps scored 11 of the next 13 points, with four points each by Langhorne and Laura Harper.
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