BALTIMORE, Md. — They are two Maryland universities located 65 miles apart. Now their respective women’s basketball teams are getting ready to travel all the way to Texas to tip off against one another in the NCAA Tournament.
Maryland and Mount St. Mary's.
For the Terps it's time to make another run at basketball immortality.
"This team is really focused, really motivated and we can’t wait to get to San Antonio," said Terps Head Coach Brenda Frese.
That’s where the Terrapins will play as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Terps (24-2) are fresh off their second consecutive Big Ten Title.
"I think we’re playing our best basketball," said Frese. "You see, we’re peaking at the right time. It’s exciting for what lies ahead."
The highest scoring team in the country (91.3 points per game) has as good a shot as ever to capture the program’s second national championship.
"Numbers don’t lie. Stats don’t lie and when you watch our team film doesn’t lie," said Terps forward Mimi Collins. "We’re just going to continue to be humble and hungry. But, as the future goes or anybody who is watching the tournament, don’t sleep on Maryland."
The eyes of Mount St. Mary’s are wide open.
"They’re unreal. They are an historically great basketball team," said Mountaineers Head Coach Maria Marchesano. "So, obviously we have a steep challenge ahead of us. But, what I love about our group is they are ready for it."
The Mountaineers (17-6) from Emmitsburg are back in the tournament for the first time since 1995. They are a No. 15 seed after winning the Northeast Conference crown.
"I think it’s going to be a good matchup," said Mountaineers center Rebecca Lee. "They are a really respectable team. They have a lot of good pieces. But, we have some good pieces as well."
Lee was named the NEC Tournament's Most Valuable Player. The senior grew up in Severn and graduated from Old Mill High School. She is ready to represent our area on the national stage.
"I take a lot of pride in that. A lot of people have been with me since I was young, following my basketball career saying, ‘Are you going to go to college?’. And I get to college and they’re like, ‘Are you going to go to the [NCAA] tournament?’. And I get to the tournament. So, it’s nice to meet people’s expectations and also really give a shout-out to them as I make it along the way. Because it’s not just myself. It’s a whole bunch of other people that help us get here."
This game is really three months in the making. The Terps and Mountaineers were scheduled to play back on December 8 in College Park. That game was canceled because of a positive COVID-19 test within the Mount program. Monday’s contest is scheduled for a 4:00 p.m. tip inside the Alamodome.