- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 31, 2006

Through 14 nonconference games, the Maryland women had gone relatively unchallenged, beating all but one of their opponents by double digits.

That didn’t change last night. The Terrapins cruised through a final dress rehearsal before the start of ACC play, beating Marist 86-60 in the championship game of the Terrapin Classic.

Redshirt junior guard Sa’de Wiley-Gatewood led Maryland with a career-high 17 points on 4-for-4 shooting in front of 7,322 at Comcast Center.

With the win, the Terps (15-0) ran their record to 17-1 in the eight years they have held the tournament. Maryland begins conference play at home Wednesday against N.C. State. The Terps conclude the nonconference portion of their schedule Saturday, when they play host to No. 21 Michigan State.

“We’re ready for the next challenge,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “We appreciate the conference, and it prepares us for the bigger picture after that — the NCAA tournament.”

Maryland sophomore forward Marissa Coleman was named the tournament MVP after scoring 28 points in two games. Wiley-Gatewood and sophomore guard Kristi Toliver joined Coleman on the all-tournament team. UNC Greensboro guard Jasmine Byrd and Marist guards Alisa Kresge and Julianne Viani also were named to the team.

In yesterday’s consolation game, UNC Greensboro (7-5) held off Liberty (6-7) for a 67-59 win.

This was the third in-season tournament the Terps have won this season. Last month, Maryland won the BTI Classic at Comcast Center and the Junkanoo Jam in Freeport, Bahamas.

Frese intentionally scheduled the tournaments in preparation for the ACC and NCAA tournaments in March. The Terps are riding the nation’s longest winning streak at 21 games, dating to last season.

Marist (9-4), out of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, hung with Maryland for the first 6 minutes until the Terps’ perimeter game got going. After the game was tied 12-12, Maryland hit five 3-pointers in a 25-6 run spanning seven minutes. The Terps led 48-25 at halftime.

“You’re trying to find a weakness that you can try and exploit. If you find one, you can mail it to me,” Marist coach Brian Giorgis said of the Terps. “They’re just … wow. They’re skilled. I haven’t seen a team with so many skilled players be so unselfish as they are. It’s just amazing.”

That first-half 3-point shooting demonstration came on the heels of Maryland’s record-breaking performance one night earlier. In Friday’s 92-57 blowout of UNC Greensboro, the Terps made a school-record 12 3-pointers.

“I’ve never been a part of a team that shoots the ball so well that you can’t leave any of our guards open on the 3-point line because they will knock it down,” said Coleman, who scored 15 points. “That’s what makes us so deadly.”

In all, five players scored in double figures for the Terps.

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