Jan. 20, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) – Brenda Frese was fidgeting as the game moved into the first overtime. Her discomfort could only partially be attributed to the plight of No. 4 Maryland, which was locked in a seesaw duel with Georgia Tech.
Crystal Langhorne had 31 points and 15 rebounds, and Marissa Coleman scored Maryland’s first five points in the second overtime to carry the Terrapins (22-1, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) past the stubborn Yellow Jackets.
Laura Harper scored 24 and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds for Maryland, which overcame 25 turnovers to earn its 12th straight win in a game that featured 23 lead changes and 18 ties.
“I thought we showed tremendous character down the stretch,” Frese said. “It’s just a special win.”
And perhaps one that was far too dramatic for a coach due to give birth on March 11.
“They say they want me to get this thing done,” Frese said. “Maybe that was their way of helping it along.”
“It was a great battle and it was a great game for the ACC,” Tech coach MaChelle Joseph said. “It was down to free throws, and you can’t defend free throws.”
Maryland finished with 36-for-44 at the foul line, and Georgia Tech made only half its 12 foul shots.
Coleman started the second overtime with a basket, but Jacqua Williams answered with a 3-pointer for Georgia Tech to make it 95-94. After Coleman sank three free throws, Mitchell misfired before Langhorne clinched it by making two free throws with 4.1 seconds to go.
“This game showed why Crystal Langhorne is an All-American,” Joseph said. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: She’s the best post player in America.”
Coleman had 24 points in 49 minutes. She missed only one of her 12 foul shots.
The Yellow Jackets had the last shot in regulation and in the first overtime, yet failed to connect on both occasions.
In regulation, Mitchell sank a 3-pointer under pressure to tie it at 82 with 10 seconds to go. Then, after a Maryland turnover, Williams’ jumper bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded.
The Terrapins made only two baskets in the final eight minutes of regulation but had 13 points at the foul line.
Georgia Tech scored the first six points in the initial overtime, but a 3-pointer by Coleman and a three-point play by Langhorne brought Maryland back. It was 92-all before Coleman missed a 3-point try, and Williams was fouled getting the rebound. But she botched the front end of a 1-and-1 with 1.6 seconds left.
Maryland trailed 43-40 early in the second half before Langhorne made a layup and Marah Strickland connected from beyond the arc to spark a 13-3 run that put the Terrapins up 53-46.
But Georgia Tech wouldn’t crumble. Williams made a layup and Montgomery followed with seven straight points to put the Yellow Jackets back in front. Hemingway then stole the ball from Kristi Toliver at midcourt and drove in for a layup to cap the 11-point spree.
The Terrapins followed with four straight free throws to tie the game for the 12th time.
“It was a very emotional game,” Coleman said. “We knew it was going to be tough. We fought through it as a team and we stayed composed.”