Archive for February, 2010

Vasquez leads MD in double overtime victory over Virgina Tech

February 28, 2010

The University of Maryland Terrapins are unstoppable.

After a three-hour delay in Blacksburg due to a water main break after a van carrying beer to a party in an adjacent building backed into a fire hydrant, the Terps and Virginia Tech finally tipped off to a game that would need extra time to determine the winner; after two overtimes, it was UMD 104-100 over the Hokies, taking the game home.

Greivis Vasquez‘s 41-points in the game and Eric Hayes‘ clutch 5 of 6 points of free throws in the final seconds of the game carried the Terps to victory and leaves their record at 21-7 ( 11-3 ACC).

Nineteen ties, 15 lead changes, three last-second shots in regulation, two overtimes. This game was what college basketball is all about.

Once again, UMD started off slow and was trailing 37-31 at halftime; even star player Vasquez only had 8-points as he followed his teammates into the locker room.

Greivis Vasquez didn't let taunts get to him as he scored 41-points to defeat the Hokies in double OT 104-100

And once again, after the second half began, the Terps proved they deserved to be on the top 25 and that they should not be an underrated team.

And prove it they did.

Was it something said in the locker room?

Or the jeers from the Hokies directed at Vasquez who yelled “USA!” at the Venezuelan native when he was at the free throw line.

Or maybe the Terps just like to toy with their opponents in the first half.

Whatever it was, Vasquez with 33 points in the second half and Sean Mosley‘s 17 points (six of which came in the second overtime)  helped turn the game around in the second half and beyond as the teams fought neck to neck all the way into double overtime to determine the winner.

Those last few seconds in regulation time were edge-of-your-seat-excitement seconds.

– Find out what happened next…>

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Maryland magic continues after a win against Clemson Wednesday night

February 24, 2010

After that big Cliff Tucker buzzer beating shot on Saturday night, did Maryland still have that magic to carry them to another win against Clemson tonight?

In what was a back and forth battle, the Terps proved that they have what it takes to overcome their opponents, even when it is an uphill fight, as they defeated the Clemson Tigers 88-79 after a 15-point deficit.

Sean Mosley scored 20 points in the 88-79 victory against Clemson

The first half of the game was nothing to remember: the Terps played sluggishly and you could tell that Greives Vasquez was tired.

With some of their key players in foul trouble early on in the game; like freshman standout forward Jordan Williams, and their other two top rebounders, who had already acquired two fouls before the end of the first half, this game didn’t look pretty.

At halftime, the Terps were lucky to only be trailing by nine points as they went into their locker room with the score 48-39.

Would the Terps find that ‘magic’ and turn this game around and beat the team that overcame them in late January?

You can bet on it.

The Terps shifted into third gear and the game quickly turned

(more…)

North Carolina Tar who?

February 24, 2010

The past years national champions are not recognizable this season, especially in tonight’s game.

The University of North Carolina Tarheels are playing Florida State Seminoles at home tonight, and at halftime, they trail by 15.

Not only are they not playing like the Tarheels fans and other ACC teams know them to play, they also are not playing with their trademark baby blue jerseys in honor of the 25th anniversary of the air Jordans.

Under coach Roy Williams, the Heels have won 185 games and lost 50 from 2003-2010, giving him a winning average of 0.787.  The Heels for years have been one of the best teams not only in the ACC, but also a deadly team to face in the NCAA tournament in March.

This year, the boys NOT in blue are not going to be playing March Madness NCAA basketball. Instead, they will be heading to the NIT tournament–most commonly called the Not In Tournament Tournament; one that is for the teams that just couldn’t cut it in the regular season to play in the big games.

Do the Heels belong there? After the way they have been playing this season, I would have to say yes.  The team itself isn’t terrible; they are just new and need to start building again after losing big name players like Tyler Hansbrough.

Coach Williams, with stats after 22 seasons of coaching Kansas and UNC, winning 603 games and losing 151 (101 of those at Kansas).

He also has had 20 NCAA tourney teams , seven final four teams and two NCAA tourney titles since 1980. He also has had 26 draft picks from his teams (all stats can be found at statsheet.com).

Don’t be fooled, Maryland, Duke, Clemson, etc. The Heels won’t be kept down for long. This season might be down the drain for them, but they will soon be back to the team to beat in coming years.

Get to know your Tigers: Towson football player profile

February 23, 2010

Matthew Morgan is a sophomore at Towson University, where he plays football for the team. Originally from Horseheads, New York, Morgan talks about his experience in Tiger Town.

Q:What made you decide to play football at Towson?

A: I liked the direction that the program was heading in, the administration really seems to be behind the football program.I also really liked the school in the academic sense, as well as the environment. It’s a lot of fun here and it really fit every aspect of what I wanted in a school.

Q.What other schools did you consider playing ball at?

A.University of Maine, Fordham University, University at Albany.

Q:What position do you play as a Tiger, and was that the same you played in high school?

A. I came to Towson as a Tight end and moved over to defensive end during my freshman year. D end is a much better fit for me, I have much more potential there. I  played linebacker from 3rd grade up until the end of high school, and I played multiple positions on offense.

Q:What is your best memory with the team?

A: The whole transformation of our team and program under the leadership of our new coaching staff. Its been amazing. Hopefully the next great memory will be a national championship.

Q:Are there any specific pregame rituals you or your team do before a game to pump you up?

A: My only personal ritual is putting on my eyeblack in a certain way… The team ritual is usually a speech from Coach Ambrose and then a speech from a captain or senior; then we go out to the field to warm up.

-Read more about Matt…>

UMD outscored Georgia Tech Saturday with a buzzer beating shot

February 22, 2010

Anyone who missed the University of Maryland game against Georgia Tech on Saturday might still be kicking themselves; I know I am.

At the end of a tight game, it almost seemed like Maryland would be handed their first home loss to another ACC team at Comcast Center.

With 20 seconds left in the chess match-like game, Tech and MD stayed within 1-point of each other but MD had the lead at 73-72.

But then Tech’s freshman  Derrick Favors scored on a put-back layup with 3-seconds left in the game.

It seemed as if the Terps would head into the locker room defeated.

And then what can only be called a cruel joke left Terps fans in disbelief.

Greivis Vasquez, the Terps captain and VIP player,  took a shot–made it–but not before the whistle had blown as Maryland called a timeout before the ball left his hands. With .09 seconds to go, the shot did not count.

“The Vasquez shot was unbelievable, only to have it waved off,” Luke Jones, a member of WNST sports radio who covers all UMD basketball games, said.  “You could tell immediately from Gary Williams’ reaction that he had not been the one to call the timeout…Keith Booth had called it.”

After the refs put the clock back to 1.5 seconds, Eric Hayes in-bounded the ball to Cliff Tucker.

(more…)

McGahee’s not going anywhere…for now

February 18, 2010

A question in the offseason for the Baltimore Ravens on running back Willis McGahee was whether or not he would keep the color purple in his closet.

As of right now, the Ravens fully intend on keeping him around. This past 2009 season, McGahee was reverted to being secondary running back behind well-known star running back Ray Rice.

This position on the Ravens was a possible reason for Mcgahee possibly on the lookout for another team where he could be the feature RB, plus his want for more money than his $3.4 million for the 2010 season if he stayed with Baltimore.

McGahee, though second to Rice, was a key player for Baltimore this season, especially in the red zone. He scored 12 touchdowns and averaged about five yards per carry…not too bad for a secondary RB.

Other news on other unknown futures like safety Ed Reed are still up in the air for now but sources say they are sure he will return, as well as the re-signing of wide receiver unrestricted free agents Derrick Mason and Kelley Washington.

 Baltimore signed wide receiver Donte Stallworth on Wednesday to help in the WR department, and could possibly still look for new players on offense to help quarterback Joe Flacco lead the team to another postseason in the 2010 season.

Watch some of Willis McGahee’s highlight from the 2009 season:

Ravens sign Donte Stallworth giving him a second chance

February 17, 2010

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said a few days ago he believes in second chances…despite past criminal records.

Earlier today, the Ravens signed wide receiver Donte Stallworth for one year for $900 thousand plus $300 thousand incentives. Previously with the Cleveland Browns, this signing led to much discussion around Baltimore this afternoon.

Nov. 6, 2008, photo shows former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte' Stallworth running after a pass reception in an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos in Cleveland. c Tony Dejak, File / AP Photo

Stallworth has stats of  catching 296 career passes for 4,383 yards and 32 touchdowns. He has played for the New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots and the Cleveland Browns. He had a career-high 70 catches and 945 yards in 2005.

So what would cause a debate on this number 3 receiver who will help push Mark Clayton and Kelley Washington?

Stallworth has a record…he was charged with a DUI vehicular manslaughter charge and served 24 days of a 30-day sentence in a Miami jail for striking and killing Miami construction worker Mario Reyes with his car while driving under the influence of alcohol.

In regards to the situation, Stallworth made a huge mistake, one he regrets.

“There was a time I felt the mistake I made was the end of the world for me,” Stallworth said in a statement. “I will never get that morning back. It weighs on me every day and will for the rest of my life. What I can do is move forward, try to be a better person, try to convince others not to do what I did and warn others about the dangers of drinking and driving. I have to show otherwise that what happened doesn’t reflect who I am.

“I have to prove that, and, hopefully, I’m on my way to doing that. I know my apology will never be strong enough for some, but I’ve made changes, and I’m trying to be a positive influence. It’s an honor and privilege to play in the NFL, and I’m so thankful for this opportunity.”

Is Stallworth going to be just another ‘thug’ with a record as the Ravens are stereotyped to be?

-Read more about Stallworth…>

Ravens don’t mix personal lives with business; how do sports affect our lives?

February 16, 2010

Many fans of this city’s beloved football team have all dealt with the stereotypes of who that team is.

A team of thugs.

Baltimore is well-known for having many of its players have a criminal past during their career and before. Many people choose to not be a fan of the Ravens simply because of this.

But this offseason, owner Steve Bisciotti noted that when they choose their next seasons players on who to draft and pick up, they aren’t going to look for who has a clean record.

“You’re not going to have 53 angels, and you probably wouldn’t have a very good team if you had 53 angels,” said Bisciotti during a state of the team press conference.

“I’m probably the biggest risk-taker,” said Bisciotti . “I like the fact that [head coach John Harbaugh, team president Dick Cass and general manager Ozzie Newsome] care about our image, and they pull me back from the rail because I’m ready to take chances on people. I really am. I think that’s kind of what life is about and I think there are opportunities like that.”

Ray Lewis' mugshot in 2000

When you look at the Ravens records of players with a past, you might be more surprised then you thought. Most have heard of Ray Lewis’ murder charge, remember Jamal Lewis serving time for drug charges, and recently Terrell Suggs’ domestic violence dispute that was dropped last week.

Now, the team is looking into possible off-season talking to wide receivers Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers’ Vincent Jackson, have had repeated offenses with the law. Will this add to the Ravens’ reputation of being a team of criminals?

But should this matter? It has shown how sports can change a kids life…help keep them off the streets, away from drugs and make them feel important to a big group so they don’t want to let them down.

Couldn’t this same idea be placed on these players?

Donaldson and Ronan  in their study using a Youth self-Report tried to determine if there was a connection between playing sports and behavior in youth.  They realized that “some less well-behaved youth may have been ‘gated’ at early stages and prevented from participating in more organized sports.” (Donaldson and Ronan, 2006).

Results indicated a negative correlation between the “number of formal sports, length of participation in formal sports and reduced social and externalizing problems” (Donaldson and Ronan, 2006).

Can sports change a life? I believe it can, whether it is playing or watching your favorite player and looking up to that person.

How have sports changed you, and did a coach, parent or teammate make a difference in your life?

 
 
 
 

 

<Donaldson, S.J. & Ronan, K.R. (2006). The effects of sports participation on young adolescents’ emotional well-being.
Adolescence, 41, 369-389.>
 
 

 

sNOw basketball tradition for rivalry game

February 11, 2010

Every year for the University of North Carolina and Duke University basketball games, I am sure to amuse anyone who happens to be out in public with me.

Two of the biggest games of the year for me…for one of the biggest rivalries in sports.

I get decked out. I wear the shirt I made myself declaring my support for the Tar heels and my disdain for the Blue Devils.  Everything I wear is blue and white…and there was one year I do believe I painted my face.

photo from rushthecourt.com

This would be acceptable if I was in Chapel Hill, NC watching the game, or even at my first college, East Carolina University.

But no, I show my fanatic side just uptown at local bars in Towson. Towson, a place where school pride in their sports teams is nonexistent.  Do I look crazy? Absolutely.

The huge snowmageddon kept me inside to watch the game on my couch and only talk ‘smack’ via text messaging and IMing others through Facebook. Would you be able to get excited and intensely into a game this way? Yea, I couldn’t either.

Why is this game so important?

For those who have never heard me during one of these games, or don’t keep up with sports, a poll conducted by ESPN in 2000 ranked the UNC versus Duke rivalry as the third greatest American sports rivalry of all-time. Sports Illustrated on Campus named it the #1 “Hottest Rivalry” in college basketball and the #2 rivalry overall in its November 18, 2003 issue.

The hugeness of the rivalry, which started in a game on Jan. 24, 1920 and played twice a year, is intensified by the proximity of the two schools, located eight miles apart.

Having lived in NC for two years, this rivalry is even a bigger deal than these stats, what you see on TV and what you may have heard.

As Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski once said about the uniqueness of the two school’s geography, “Forget the Big Ten … we share the same dry cleaners … There is no other area like this. It produces things, situations, feelings that you can’t talk to other people about. Because they have no understanding of it.”

Snow would never keep these two teams from playing each other,or ending the rivalry. A tornado wouldn’t keep this game from being played.

But in last night’s defeat to Duke 64-54, UNC buried itself and its season is now over. The chances of the Heels going to the big NCAA tournament this year are as good as all the snow here in Maryland melting by tonight.

Washington Capitals end winning streak in overtime loss

February 10, 2010

The Washington Capitals were on a hot streak for the past month or so, winning 14 games in a row which ended in a 6-5 overtime victory to the Montreal Canadians earlier tonight.

The Caps trailed behind until a come back from behind thriller in the 3rd period as  Brooks Laich tied it at 5 for Washington, scoring his third goal of the game with 18.4 seconds left.

In overtime, it was the Canadians who skated away with the W as Alex Semin missed a goal and Tomas Plekanec took the puck to the other end of the ice to score and end the Caps winning streak.

The Caps  had the longest winning streak in the NHL since the Pittsburgh Penguins set the league mark with 17 consecutive victories in 1992-93 season. Only the Pens and the 1981-82 New York Islanders (15 straight victories) have longer streaks than Washington did.

For more information on the game, check out box scores and stats.

Montreal Canadiens' Brian Gionta, left, and Washington Capitals' Alexander Semin (28) reach for the puck during first-period NHL hockey game action in Montreal, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010. ((AP Photos/The Canadian Press,Graham Hughes))