MARYLAND vs. UCONN
Site: Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, Ct.
Time: 2:30 p.m.
TV: ESPN2 (Beth Mowins, Doris Burke and Holly Rowe)
Radio: WTIC-AM 1080 (Bob Joyce, Debbie Fiske)
Series history: UConn, 1-0
Last meeting: UConn, 63-48, December 3, 2012, XL Center
Streaks: UConn, W2 Maryland, W2
21 TIANNA HAWKINS, F, 6-3, Sr., 18.2 – Averaging 9.8 rebounds; shoots 54.9 percent
25 ALYSSA THOMAS, F, 6-2, Jr., 19.0 – Preseason first-team All-American, 178 assists.
13 ALICIA DeVAUGHN, C, 6-4, Jr., 8.4 – Has 30 blocks, shoots 58.6 percent from field
40 KATIE RUTAN, G, 5-8, Jr., 9.6 – Leads team with 176 free throws this season
15 CHLOE PAVLECH, G, 5-9, Fr., 5.4 – Has 136 assists and 89 turnovers this season
4 MALINA HOWARD, C, 6-4, Fr., 6.9 – Veteran USA Basketball player averaging 24.6 minutes off bench
5 CAROLINE DOTY, G, 5-10, Sr., 3.5 – Returned to the starting lineup in NCAA opener against Idaho
23 KALEENA MOSQUEDA-LEWIS, F, 6-0, So., 17.7 – UConn’s single-season leader in three-point field goals (108)
31 STEFANIE DOLSON, C, 6-5, Jr., Finalist for the Wade Trophy
34 KELLY FARIS, G, 5-11, Sr., 10.1 – Fourth Husky to ever start for than 100 games straight
3 MORGAN TUCK, F, 6-2, Fr., 6.5 – Scored a career-high 18 points vs. Idaho in first round
14 BRIA HARTLEY, G, 5-7, Jr., 9.1 – Has scored double-figures in 4 of her last 6 games.
30 BREANNA STEWART, F, 6-4, Fr., 12.7 – Has scored 65 points in her last four games.
4 MORIAH JEFFERSON, G, 5-7, Fr., 4.5 – Scored a career-high 16 points in first round against Idaho
What to watch for
First time, tough time
This first ever match-up between Maryland and UConn came on n“Jimmy V” day last year. It was the first of a home-and-home that continues next season in College Park, Md. Terps’ coach Brenda Frese last week she would like to play UConn long-term, but with conference realignment so rampant it may not be feasible.
The Terps lost guard Laurin Mincy to an ACL injury early in the season. Maryland lost sophomore starting point guard Brene Moseley to a torn ACL in her left knee Oct. 21. But in Thomas and Hawkins they have two of the best post players in the nation.
Maryland coach Brenda Frese was named WBCA Regional Coach of the Year Wednesday and Thomas a finalist for the Wade Trophy, as were Dolson and Mosqueda-Lewis.
Thomas, the ACC Player of the Year, is the only player in the nation to rank in the top 50 in points, rebounds and assists. She led the ACC in all three and recorded two triple-doubles this year.
This ia Maryland’s 21st NCAA Tournament, the ninth in Frese’s 11 years. She’s led Maryland to four Elite Eights, five Sweet 16s, a Final Four and the 2006 NCAA Championship. UConn has been to 20 straight Sweet 16s and has not lost this game since 2005 when Stanford beat it, 76-59.
In their first meeting, Maryland played UConn extremely tough, holding the Huskies to just 23 field goals and out-rebounding it, 39-35. But the Huskies won the game with defensive pressure, forcing 26 turnovers while holding Thomas to 2-of-12 and six points in 36 minutes.