- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Maryland women's basketball team suffered another loss Monday when it announced sophomore guard Marah Strickland is transferring after the spring semester.

On Friday, the program said sophomore forward Drey Mingo plans to do the same.

Strickland's departure, coupled with the graduation of Kristi Toliver and Marissa Coleman, means the Terrapins will return just two starters from last year. That is their fewest since coach Brenda Frese's first season at Maryland and leaves the Terps with an empty starting backcourt.

Strickland started 23 of the Terps' 33 games last year, briefly losing her starting spot to senior Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood before reclaiming it when Wiley-Gatewood left the program. Strickland averaged 8.8 points and was second to Toliver in 3-pointers with 54.

”We enjoyed having Marah as part of the Maryland basketball program the past two seasons,” Frese said in a statement. “We wish her all the best in the future.”

Incoming freshman Dara Taylor, a McDonald's All-American, likely will replace Toliver at point guard.

Mingo was never able to get a significant spot in Frese's rotation. She played behind Crystal Langhorne, Laura Harper and Jade Perry her freshman year; last season, she was leapfrogged on the depth chart by junior college transfer Dee Liles and freshman Lynetta Kizer.

Mingo averaged just 12.0 minutes a game last year. Highly touted forward Tianna Hawkins would have been one more person to vie for playing time with next season.

“Drey is a terrific young lady who we have enjoyed having in our program the past two years,” Frese said. “We understand her desire to get on the floor and contribute.”

In all, Maryland is slated to bring back only five players who contributed last year. That includes just two upperclassmen: Liles and Lori Bjork, a transfer from Illinois with one year of eligibility.

Last season, Maryland's returning players accounted for 36.4 percent of the Terps' scoring, 52.5 percent of their rebounding, 28.4 percent of their assists and 41.4 percent of their minutes.

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