Terps spoil Wright's big night, 61-60Jan 12, 2010 - 4:05 AM By HANK KURZ Jr. AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.(AP) -- On a night when Monica Wright supplanted Virginia's best player ever as its scoring leader, Maryland foiled her chance at making it really special.
Lori Bjork scored 20 points, Lynetta Kizer had 19 points and 14 rebounds and the Terrapins forced Wright into a heavily guarded 15-footer at the buzzer that never had a chance Monday night, preserving their 61-60 victory against the No. 23 Cavaliers.
As expected, Maryland coach Brenda Frese thought no call was the right call.
"I thought it was a physical game for 40 minutes, so I thought it was a good no call," Frese said of the play that ended with Wright on the floor and the crowd jeering in anger.
But the Cavaliers' loss could not be blamed just on the final sequence, but instead on their overall sloppy play and inability to take advantage after forcing 28 turnovers.
"When you force as many turnovers as we did and you shoot 28 more times than the other team, you should win the game," Cavaliers coach Debbie Ryan said.
But Virginia shot just 30.8 percent, including a 7-for-24 effort by Wright, a preseason All-American and the Atlantic Coast Conference's preseason player of the year.
She wasn't even sure a foul should have been called on the final play, where she took the inbounds pass to the surprise of no one and had little time to make anything happen.
"As soon as I got the ball, I turned and there was like three people around me," she said, adding that she thought of dumping it off, but was aware time was running out. "There weren't that many options with three seconds left so I tried to go up and draw the foul."
Wright finished the night with 2,140 points, five more than Staley, who sent in a video message congratulating her for breaking the record as part of a short postgame ceremony.
"It was definitely kind of awkward," Wright said of the ceremony, considering the finish.
She said she doesn't expect to feel like celebrating her achievement anytime soon.
"At some point, but not right now," she said.
The Terrapins (13-3, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), coming off a 28-point loss at North Carolina State, only let Virginia lead twice, both times briefly, in rebounding nicely.
"It was about are we going to be the team that got embarrassed at N.C. State or are we going to show some real heart here," said Bjork, who made 6 of 10 from 3-point range.
The Cavaliers (11-4, 0-1), who lost by 18 in their league opener at No. 16 Florida State, will have six days to fix things before playing at Virginia Tech next Monday night.
"This is not a good time for a break," Ryan said.
The Cavaliers had several chances to make it different.
Telia McCall scored and was fouled with 11 seconds left to make it 61-60, but her attempt at completing the three-point play missed and Maryland won the scramble for the rebound.
Diandra Tchatchouang was fouled, but she missed both free throws, and when Wright came away with the ball, she crossed halfcourt and Virginia called time with 3.1 seconds left.
Earlier, Wright claimed the scoring mark on a 3-pointer from the right corner with 13:01 to play. It was followed quickly by a timeout, and a standing ovation from the crowd.
It also capped a 10-2 burst for the Cavaliers, pulling them to within 43-42, and 3 minutes later Chelsea Shine's free throw gave Virginia its first lead since very early.
But after sloppy play on both sides, Kizer scored inside with 8:16 to play, Bjork hit her final 3-pointer to push the lead to 54-50 and the Cavaliers never got back to even again.
Staley, who played at Virginia from 1989-92, was a two-time national player of the year. She was also the Cavaliers assists leader until Sharnee Zoll passed her record in February 2008, and led Virginia to three straight Final Four appearances in her last three years.
Staley now is the head coach at South Carolina.
- NCAA WOMENS BB
VIRGINIA (23) 60 FINAL
Jan 11 9:33 PM
- NCAA WOMENS BB
VIRGINIA (23) 32 HALFTIME
Jan 11 8:22 PM
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