- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 24, 2009

[1] Maryland vs. [9] Utah

Raleigh Region second round

Comcast Center, 7 p.m., TV: ESPN2

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Utah defense vs. Maryland PG Kristi Toliver: A track meet would doom Utah, so its best chance at an upset is slowing Toliver. That will be especially important following Utah turnovers or missed shots, which Maryland likes to counter by shooting early in the shot clock before the opposition is set. Known for her prowess from beyond the arc, Toliver showed against Dartmouth in the first round that she isn’t opposed to driving. The Utes know firsthand what an unchecked Toliver can do; in the 2006 Albuquerque Region final, she torched them for 28 points as a freshman in Maryland’s overtime victory.



X-FACTOR

Utah G Morgan Warburton: Utah held Villanova to 30 points in its first-round game but isn’t likely to have such success against the Terps. That means a big night will be needed from Warburton, the Mountain West player of the year. As Utah’s leader in scoring and assists, she is similar to Toliver in that she creates scoring opportunities for herself and her teammates. Warburton likely will need to improve on the 4-for-14 shooting day she had against Villanova. She likely will see time defending Toliver and Marissa Coleman.

PREDICTION

Utah is dangerous in the sense that it probably could have earned better than a No. 9 seed. But that doesn’t spare the Utes from having to face Maryland in College Park, where the Terps have won 35 straight games. The teams’ familiarity from the 2006 matchup favors the Terps since Toliver and Coleman will be the only players on the court Tuesday who saw significant action. Second-chance opportunities will be hard to come by for the Utes because Maryland holds the size advantage. In the end, the Terps have too many factors in their favor.

Maryland 73, Utah 60

- Mike Fratto

[1] Maryland Terrapins

PROJECTED STARTERS

No. Player Pos Ht Yr

20 Kristi Toliver G 5-7 Sr.

5 Marah Strickland G 6-0 So.

25 Marissa Coleman G/F 6-1 Sr.

13 Dee Liles F 6-1 Jr.

12 Lynetta Kizer C 6-4 Fr.

TEAM LEADERS

Category Player Avg

Points Kristi Toliver 18.7

Rebounds Dee Liles 8.5

Assists Kristi Toliver 5.0

[9] Utah Utes

PROJECTED STARTERS

No. Player Pos Ht Yr

1 Janita Badon G 5-6 Fr.

2 Kalee Whipple G 6-0 Jr.

15 Morgan Warburton G 5-11 Sr.

22 Halie Sawyer F 6-1 Jr.

31 Katie King F 6-1 Sr.

TEAM LEADERS

Category Player Avg

Points Morgan Warburton 18.6

Rebounds Halie Sawyer 7.8

Assists Morgan Warburton3.5

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