Strickland Serves Up 90-57 Terrapin Win Over UNC Asheville
Mayland sophomore guard Marah Strickland led the Terps with 21 points and 10 rebounds during Maryland's 90-57 win over UNC Asheville at the Comcast Center in College Park MD on December 29, 2008. Christopher Blunck/DC Sports Box
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Terrapin sophomore Marah Strickland stepped it up this afternoon and delivered 21 points and 10 rebounds as Maryland recorded a convincing 33 point win over the visiting UNC Asheville Bulldogs.  Maryland's return to Comcast was met with guarded optimism after many players on the team, including two starters this evening, took their first final exams as college students.  Getting past the jitters and anxiety of exams marked a palpable turning point as Maryland now trains its eye on the upcoming in-conference schedule.

Maryland got off to a rocky start in the first half while the Bulldogs capitalized on several inside plays to collect points.  The Terps also played without the assistance of senior leader Kristi Toliver, who was suspended for one game for an undisclosed violation of team rules.  With senior Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood and Anjale Barrett at the point, the Terps looked to the passing lanes to create scoring opportunities.  Lynetta Kizer took the inside post position and performed well beyond expectations, going 6-8 for 18 total points in the game.  Demauria Liles also challenged the Bulldog zone offense and scored 10 points and recorded 8 rebounds in the game.

Despite modest gains in the first half, Maryland left the door open for Bulldog runs.  After taking a 14-7 lead, Maryland slipped into a rut that UNC Asheville was able to take advantage of as they hit a three-pointer and sank a jump shot to claw back to a 14-12 deficit.  A free throw shot by Lindsey Montgomery brought the Bulldogs to within 1 and UNC Asheville eventually claimed a 1 point advantage with a 3 pointer by Lindsey Thomas.

Maryland battled back with a 13-0 run that left the Bulldogs mesmerized.  Demauria Liles, Anjale Barrett, Yemi Oyefuwa, Marissa Coleman, and Marah Strickland all put points on the board as the Terps closed out the first half with a buzzer beater by Demauria Liles, giving Maryland a 39-28, 11 point advantage.

Terrapin sophomore guard Marah Strickland remarked on the first half transition from hesitation to exclamation by saying, "We brought a lot of intensity to the court today.  We fought through the missed shots and missed layups and played team basketball.  We found everybody and it worked out well for us today".

After finding their feet in the first half, Maryland extended the lead to a game high 33 points by the close of the second 20 minutes.  Strickland led the way for the Terps, coming up with remarkable rebounds that left many wondering how she could have possibly come up with the ball in the scramble under the rim.

Maryland Head Coach Brenda Frese was pleased with Strickland's play this evening and remarked, "I was really proud of Marah's performance.  She brought a ton of energy and was everywhere.  She made so many plays.  In transition she was all over the floor and all over the glass.  It was a tremendous thing sparking our team and helping us all play together".

Three VIPs, Crystal Langhorne, Jade Perry, and Laura Harper, sat courtside this afternoon and cheered on their former classmates.  Langhorne, who plays just down the street for the Washington Mystics, and Harper, who plays for the Sacramento Monarchs, visited the locker room after the game to reunite with several National Champion holders from several seasons ago.  When asked what it meant to the team to have part of the 2008 senior class in attendance, Maryland Head Coach Brenda Frese remarked, "It's special to have our alumni come back.  We're so proud of all 3 of them - they have all graduated and are doing extremely well overseas".

"This is our family, and our extended family, and we talked a lot about it for the last 2 days in practice,” Frese added.  “We talked about how quickly their college careers are going to go by and how some day Lynetta and Marah will come back here.  That's what a family does.  It's great to be able to see all of them."

Maryland will face Mississippi State at 2pm on Tuesday, December 30th for the final game of the Terrapin Classic.  Tip off is scheduled for 2 pm but may run late depending on the duration of the Marshall vs. UNC Asheville game.

Maryland vs UNC Asheville Gallery

Mississippi State vs Marshall Gallery