Alyssa Thomas Begins WNBA Career

After a record-setting career at the University of Maryland, the next chapter in the basketball life of former Lady Terrapins star forward Alyssa Thomas has begun.

After setting the all-time scoring mark for both men’s and women’s basketball in College Park, Thomas was selected by the New York Liberty with the fourth overall pick in the WNBA draft on April 14. In a draft night trade, the Liberty sent Thomas to the Connecticut Sun in exchange for Tina Charles, who was named the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2012. The Sun also got center Kelsey Bone and New York’s first-round pick in next year’s draft as part of the trade. As a result, Thomas is teaming up with forward Chiney Ogwumike, who was the number one overall pick from Stanford University.

The Sun’s first game was against the Liberty on May 16. In her WNBA debut, Thomas had seven points, four rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes. So far this season, Thomas has appeared in nine games, and is averaging 8.7 points and 4.1 rebounds in 22.6 minutes per game. She’s shooting just over 44 percent from the floor and 69 percent from the free throw line. Her best performance so far was on May 30, when she scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds in a 101-82 loss at the Chicago Sky.

Thomas will be coming back to the Washington, DC, area to play later this season. The Sun will be playing the Washington Mystics at the Verizon Center on June 27, and again in an 11:30 matinee on July 23.

Local Lacrosse Roundup: Maryland Hosting Cornell in NCAA First Round For Second Straight Year

In its final season in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Maryland men’s lacrosse team tied with Duke for the best conference record at 4-1. The Terps went 11-3 overall, and finished the season ranked ninth by Lacrosse Magazine. Maryland lost in the ACC semifinals 6-5 to ninth-ranked Notre Dame in Chester, Pennsylvania on April 25. The Terps received a seventh seed for the NCAA tournament, and will play Cornell in the first round at 5 p.m. on May 10 in College Park.

Maryland was led this season by senior midfielder Mike Chanenchuk, who had 28 goals and 16 assists. Senior goalie Niko Amato had a 7.19 goals against average, which was fourth-best in the country. He was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Connor Cannizzaro scored 20 goals and added 6 assists in his rookie season, and was named ACC Freshman of the Year. Head Coach John Tillman was named Coach of the Year. The Terps outscored their opponents 163-97 this season, and went 3-1 against their local opponents: Mount St. Marys (won 16-3 on February 8), Maryland-Baltimore County (won 14-3 on February 15), Johns Hopkins (lost 11-6 on April 12), and Navy (won 12-8 on April 19).

Johns Hopkins went 10-4 on the season, including 4-1 against its in-state opponents (Towson, Maryland, Loyola, UMBC and Navy.) The Blue Jays received an at-large bid to make the NCAA Tournament for a record 42nd time, and will play at eighth-seeded Virginia on May 11. Their first-round matchup will be a rematch of a game they played in Charlottesville on March 22, when the Blue Jays lost to the Cavaliers 11-10 in overtime.

The Loyola Greyhounds lost to Virginia 14-13 in their season opener on February 6. They haven’t lost since, finishing the season at 15-1, including an 8-0 mark in the Patriot League. The Greyhounds beat number 18 and two-time Patriot League champion Lehigh 16-7 in the championship game at the Ridley Athletic Complex on April 27, and finished the season ranked number one in Lacrosse Magazine. Loyola is the third seed in the tournament, and will host the University of Albany (N.Y.) on May 10.

As for the Towson Tigers, they had a mediocre season that ended on a down note. The Tigers went 8-7 (2-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association) during the regular season, and lost to Drexel 11-10 in overtime in the CAA Tournament semifinals on May 1.

The Maryland women had another dominant season. The Lady Terps went 19-1, only losing at North Carolina 17-15 on April 5. Maryland rebounded from that loss by finishing the regular season on a six-game winning streak (including the ACC Tournament at Boston College), beating Virginia and Virginia Tech twice, and then defeating Syracuse 13-7 on April 27 to win its sixth straight conference championship. The Lady Terps are the top overall seed in the Women’s Division I NCAA Tournament, and will have a first-round bye. They’ll play the winner of Canisius and Penn in the second round on May 11 in College Park.

The Johns Hopkins Lady Blue Jays went 15-4 (3-3 in the American Lacrosse Conference) this season. They defeated Penn State 13-10 in the ALC tournament quarterfinals on May 1 before losing to Florida 11-6 the following day. Hopkins will play Georgetown in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Division I Lacrosse Tournament on May 9 at the University of North Carolina. It’s the first time the Lady Blue Jays have made the NCAA tournament in seven years.

Loyola went 14-5 (8-0 in the Patriot League), winning 12 out of their last 13 games. They received an at-large bid, and will play number 14 Massachusetts at Boston College on May 9. Towson went 11-7 (4-1 in the CAA), but ended their season in dramatic fashion. In the CAA championship game on May 4 in Williamsburg, Virginia, redshirt freshman midfielder Michelle Gildea scored with 35 seconds left in overtime to give the Lady Tigers a 12-11 win over James Madison for their third straight CAA lacrosse championship. Towson will play Stony Brook at Syracuse University on May 9 in the first round of the tournament.

The men’s national lacrosse championships will be at M&T Bank Stadium during Memorial Day weekend. The Division I semifinals will be on Saturday, May 24. The Division III national championship game will be on Sunday, May 25, and the Division I national championship game will be on May 26. The women’s national championship will be at Towson University on Friday, May 23.

UPDATED MAY 11

Upsets abounded in the first round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Tournament this weekend. One local did the upsetting, while another got upset.

In a rematch of their season opener in February, Johns Hopkins upset eighth-seeded Virginia 14-8 in Charlottesville. Attacker Wells Stanwick scored five goals, and Brandon Benn added four of his own to give head coach Dave Pietramala his 158th win at Hopkins, tying Bob Scott’s record for most wins by a men’s head lacrosse coach in program history. Hopkins scored four unanswered goals in the fourth quarter to put the game away, and will play top seed and defending national champion Duke in the quarterfinals on May 18 at the University of Delaware.

Meanwhile, third-seeded Loyola was upset at home by the University of Albany, 13-6 on May 10. Great Danes goalie Blaze Riorden made 13 saves, and the Albany defense gave up their lowest goal total of the season. Justin Ward and Pat Laconi each scored twice, and goalie Jack Runkel made 11 saves for the Greyhounds.

Seventh-seeded Maryland needed a goal by senior midfielder Mike Chanenchuk with two seconds left in regulation to give the Terps an 8-7 win, thwarting an upset bid by the Cornell Big Red in College Park. Maryland will play Bryant in a quarterfinal game on May 17 at Hofstra University.

In the women’s tournament, top seed Maryland beat Penn 13-5 in College Park on May 11. Taylor Cummings had a hat trick, and won 10 draws, leading the Lady Terps to a 17-3 advantage on draws. Maryland will host Duke on May 17. Meanwhile, seventh-seeded Boston College defeated Loyola 8-3. Georgetown edged Hopkins 9-8 on an overtime goal by Kelyn Freedman on May 9. It was the Hoyas’ first tournament win since 2006.

Lady Terps dominate Holy Family in 99-44 victory in final exhibition game

On Saturday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m., #6-ranked Maryland Terrapins Women’s Basketball hosted the Holy Family Tigers in their last exhibition game.  The Terps brought home a 99-44 victory over the Tigers at Comcast Center.

Starting for the Terps were seniors Alyssa Thomas, Katie Rutan, Alicia DeVaughn and sophomores Malina Howard and Chloe Pavlech.  Starting for the Tigers were Jill Conroy, Maggie Serratelli, Mary Ellen McCollum, Sarah Pawlak, and Carolyne Heston. Alyssa Thomas led the Terps with 20 points, going 2-2 behind the line, with 11 rebounds and a team high of five assists.  Freshman Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added 14 points, while fellow freshman Lexie Brown had 10.  The Terps remained consistent between the two halves, making an average of 51.2% of their field goal attempts, but improved to 66.7% percent behind the line of free throws.  Alyssa Thomas was recently voted ACC Player of the Year, while Lexie Brown was named to the Blue Ribbon Panel’s ACC Newcomer Watch List.

Just 12 seconds into regulation play, Alyssa Thomas made a two-point jumper with an assist by Chloe Pavlech followed by a layup by Alicia DeVaughn, who was fouled by Mary Ellen McCollum on the play.  The field goal counted and DeVaughn went to the line to shoot one, turning the play into a total of three points, giving the Terps a 5-0 lead just 39 seconds into the game.

The Tigers managed to keep the Terrapins’ lead under control through most of the first half.  With a little over six minutes to go, freshman Briona Jones sank a layup, which catapulted the Terrapins into an 18-5 run to finish the half[A1] .  The halftime score was 45-23.  Coming back from halftime, Maryland continued their pace with a layup by Lexie Brown and pushed their lead to 66-33 with just under 11 minutes remaining.

This year the Lady Terps really have the depth to reach far into their bench and make plays that really work for them[A2] .  During the post-game press conference, Coach Brenda Freese said, “I saw a lot of great things with some different combinations and how we wanted to play.  I thought we were able to really do some great things on the glass in terms of how we went to the offensive boards.  This was just an opportunity to blend a lot of combinations together and I thought we did a good job overall.”

South Florida’s 2012-2013 record had them going 22-11, making it to the NCAA Tournament, only to fall to California in the 2nd Round during overtime.

The Terps will travel to Tampa on Friday, Nov. 8th to take on the University of South Florida Bulls; game time is 7 p.m.  For game updates, follow the Lady Terps on Twitter @UMDWBB or get live stat updates at http://www.umterps.com.  You can also view the game, streamed live for a fee, at http://www.GoUSFBulls.com

The Terrapins will be back at home on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. for their home opener against Loyola.  Tickets are available at http://www.UMTerps.com or by calling 1-800-IM-A-TERP.