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Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots - Wild Card Round

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Ravens-Patriots: Five predictions for Sunday

Posted on 21 January 2012 by Luke Jones

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Sixty minutes will decide whether the Ravens advance to Indianapolis or find themselves falling short for the fourth season in a row.

Standing in their way is the high-powered New England Patriots, winners of nine straight including last week’s 45-10 blowout of the Denver Broncos in the divisional round. The Ravens own a 1-6 all-time record against New England and are 1-4 in Foxborough.

However, that one victory came in the form of a 33-14 beatdown of the Patriots two years ago in the wild card round of the playoffs as Ray Rice ran for a playoff franchise-record 159 yards, including an 83-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage. The performance handed New England its first home playoff defeat since 1978 as the Ravens forced quarterback Tom Brady to commit four turnovers.

What happened on that day doesn’t amount to much as far as what transpires at Gillette Stadium on Sunday – for example, the personnel has changed dramatically for the New England defense – but the victory does provide a psychological boost at a place where many teams are intimidated by the Patriots’ mystique.

The AFC championship features the ultimate contrast in styles as New England represents the new era of high-scoring, pass-happy offense while Baltimore still thrives on its strong defense to win ugly year in and year out.

Here’s what will happen in Foxborough on Sunday afternoon …

1. Needing to make Tom Brady as uncomfortable as possible in the pocket, Terrell Suggs will lead the charge with two sacks. For all the talk of sticking with the Patriots’ talented tight ends and the video-game production of Wes Welker the key to beating the New England offense is pressuring the future Hall of Fame quarterback. The Ravens have done it effectively over their last three games against the Patriots, sacking Brady nine times. Suggs leads the charge for the pass rush and will need to come up big against New England left tackle Matt Light on Sunday. Suggs has been quiet over the last month, collecting only one sack over the last four games, but the Pro Bowl linebacker was a one-man wrecking crew in the 2010 postseason when he collected five sacks in two games. The 29-year-old has posted 10 sacks in his 10 career playoff games. The New England offensive line allowed 32 sacks in the regular season, but the unit is banged up with left guard Logan Mankins dealing with a knee issue and right tackle Sebastian Vollmer ailing with back and foot injuries. Defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano has been masterful in finding the proper balance between sending extra defenders and dropping enough men into coverage, and he’ll need his best plan yet on Sunday against the most explosive offense in the AFC.

2. The Ravens will not be able to stop tight end Rob Gronkowski from making big plays, but Lardarius Webb will hold wide receiver Wes Welker in check. Analysts and fans have spent the better part of the week trying to figure out how the Baltimore defense will account for the 6-foot-6 Gronkowski. Pagano will call for bracketed coverage as much as possible and likely entrust strong safety Bernard Pollard to hold his own in one-on-one coverage in certain instances. However, it’s clear that few have had any luck against the second-year tight end who caught 90 passes for 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns in the regular season. In fairness, the Ravens have held their own against tight ends despite questionable pass-coverage ability for their linebackers, but Gronkowski’s combination of size and talent is something they haven’t seen all season. What could be the great equalizer in creating stops against the New England offense is Webb’s coverage against Wes Welker, who caught 122 passes for 1,569 yards this season. The third-year cornerback hasn’t allowed a touchdown pass all season and can play Welker when he lines up on the outside or from the slot since Webb moves inside for the nickel package. Even if the Ravens allow a couple touchdowns to Gronkowski, Webb’s coverage skills should keep Welker from going off against the secondary, which would be a major feather in the hat of the defense.

3. Whichever team fares better on third down will win on Sunday. It’s a simple thought, but the Ravens must limit the possessions of the New England offense has much as possible. To do that, they’ll need positive yardage on first and second down to set up third-and-manageable situations. Baltimore ranked seventh in third-down conversion percentage (42.4 percent) while the New England defense allowed conversions on third down at 43.1 percent of the time, ranking 28th in the NFL. Rice and tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta will be critical in moving the chains on third down and keeping the Patriots off the field. On the flip side, the New England offense ranked fifth in third-down efficiency (45.9 percent), but the Ravens were second in the league in third-down defense with opponents converting only 32.1 percent of the time. Of course, the Patriots can score so quickly that third down isn’t even a factor on some drives, but the Ravens will be more meticulous with their opportunities while mixing in an occasional vertical shot against the Patriots’ secondary. An inordinate amount of turnovers one way or the other could always negate the significance of third-down conversions, but the team that can move the chains and force punts will likely raise the Lamar Hunt trophy at the end of the afternoon.

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Ravens looking to prove defense still king against high-scoring Patriots

Posted on 20 January 2012 by Luke Jones

For more than a decade, one mantra has been held with the highest regard by the Baltimore Ravens in spite of changing trends in the NFL over the last several seasons.

Defense wins championships.

In this current era of 5,000-yard passers, high scoring, and rules that cater to offense, the Ravens’ defensive dominance is considered a dying breed by many. Of course, don’t bother telling that to veteran linebacker Ray Lewis, who is preparing to play in the third AFC championship of his 16-year career and has gone to the playoffs eight times despite never enjoying the luxury of an explosive offense supporting his defense.

“I’ve been doing it for so long, when you do watch how the games are played, nine times out of 10, I just truly believe defense is going to find a way to win the championship,” Lewis said. “You can go back however many years you want to go back, and defenses have a way to come out to make a play that changes the outcome of games.”

In reality, the cliche isn’t true in the purest sense of defense alone winning championships, as even the 2000 Ravens needed a run-first offense that took care of the football and positioned their defense to impose its will on weaker opponents. The 2011 Ravens clearly enjoy a more productive offensive attack than the Super Bowl XXXV winners but still generally rely on that old-fashioned formula of winning ugly.

For that reason, the media have focused on the high-octane offense of the New England Patriots and have wondered how the Ravens can possibly stop quarterback Tom Brady and a unit that averaged 32.1 points per game this season. In contrast, few of considered the possibility of the New England offense running into a buzz saw of a defense that finished third overall in points and yards allowed in the regular season.

Has the lack of attention — or even a perceived lack of respect — rubbed the Ravens the wrong way as they prepare to travel to Foxborough?

“We always have a chip on our shoulder,” cornerback Lardarius Webb said. “We’ve always felt this way about ourselves.”

That’s not to say the Ravens don’t respect Brady and the New England offense. The weapons are everywhere, from wide receivers Wes Welker and Deion Branch on the outside to young tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez wreaking havoc all over the field.

But much like Lewis’ command of the Ravens defense for the last 16 years, Brady is the mastermind that makes New England the dynamic offense that’s scored 30 or more points in eight of its last nine games, including 45 against Denver in the Patriots’ divisional-round win last Saturday.

“You’ve got your hands full from Day One, before you even step on the field with him, because it’s a film study game with him,” Lewis said. “He wants to [identify] everything that’s coming out and know what you’re in. Your job is to disguise and not show him all of that. It’s a chess match, almost.”

The Baltimore defense and the New England offense provide an interesting juxtaposition. While the former has a reputation of physical play and intimidation and the latter is built on finesse, both units are extremely cerebral, built to deceive and confuse the opposition as much as possible. Adjustments at the line of scrimmage are a regular part of each unit’s plan.

That deception will be critical for the Ravens as Brady tries to dissect coverage and to identify potential blitzes, allowing him to make adjustments on the fly with so many options in the passing game.

“You try to do everything you can to try to disguise and hide what you’re doing,” defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano said. “At the end of the day, if we just sit and play one or two things and let the tempo of the [Patriots] dictate what we do, then he’ll shred us, he’ll pick us apart. They’re just too good.”

While much time has been spent discussing exactly how the Ravens plan to defend Welker (Webb will draw the assignment in most instances) and the monstrous Gronkowski (a likely combination of a linebacker and safety Bernard Pollard), the true key will be making Brady uncomfortable in the pocket, something Baltimore has been able to do in recent years against the Patriots.

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Win over Texans wasn’t pretty, but the playoffs aren’t supposed to be

Posted on 15 January 2012 by Peter Dilutis

The Baltimore Ravens are 60 minutes away from going to the Super Bowl.

What more can we, as fans, really ask for?

The Ravens just beat a very good Houston Texans team. Yes, T.J. Yates was their third string quarterback, but that is a very tough, physical, good football team that the Ravens defeated today to advance to an AFC Championship date with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in Foxborough.

Let me repeat that. The Ravens just advanced to the AFC Championship game.

Was it pretty? No. Were there mistakes made? More than we can count.

But this isn’t week three anymore. This isn’t the Browns or Colts or Bengals.

There is no need to develop the offense or defense or special teams to better prepare for the rest of the season. The Ravens do not have to worry about developing an identity or getting any style points.

The Ravens just need to win. And they did just that today.

Just win, baby.

One down, two to go.

Fans that let the boos roll off their tongues today, while a great minority, really displayed a loss of perspective and logic.

This is the playoffs. The team on the other side of the football is a really good team. The Houston Texans were playing on January 15th for a reason.

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Maryland Announces 2012 Lax Schedule

Posted on 10 January 2012 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, MD. – Maryland men’s lacrosse coach John Tillman has released the Terps’ 2012 schedule. The schedule features six games against teams that made the 2011 NCAA tournament and seven home games scheduled for Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.

Tickets will not be needed for the April 28 match vs. Bellarmine as that will be the featured athletic event of Maryland Day and will be open to the public as a part of the festivities on campus.

In addition to the Maryland Day game, the home schedule also features the rematch of the 2011 NCAA championship game in College Park as Maryland hosts Virginia on March 31 at noon and the annual intra-state rivalry with Navy on April 6 at 7 p.m.

“As always, this is a challenging schedule that will test our team from beginning to end,” said Tillman, who is entering his second season at the helm of the Terrapin program.

The Terps are coming off last year’s 13-5 campaign that saw them capture the ACC championship and reach the finals of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998. Maryland returns five regular starters from last season’s squad, but also returns All-America face-off man Curtis Holmes.

Following two preseason scrimmages, the 2012 schedule kicks off with the first-ever meeting with Hartford on Feb. 18.

The following weekend finds Maryland traveling to Washington, D.C., for its annual showdown with Georgetown on Friday, Feb. 24.

The Terps then host its first ACC game of the season, a rematch of the ACC title game vs. Duke on March 3.

The team then has a quick turnaround with a road game at intra-state rival UMBC on Tuesday, March. 6.

The team plays Marist for the first time on March 10, before hosting Villanova on March 17.

The Terps conclude their ACC schedule with back-to-back games with North Carolina and Virginia. Maryland visits the Tar Heels on March 24, before hosting the Cavaliers on March 31. Both games are scheduled for noon starts.

Maryland hosts Navy in a primetime Friday night game on April 6 before traveling to Johns Hopkins on April 14 for the 108th meeting of “Lacrosse’s Greatest Rivalry.”

Maryland then travels to Charlottesville, Va., for the 2012 ACC Tournament at Klöckner Stadium on April 20 and 22.

The Terps will play at Mount St. Mary’s on April 25 before wrapping up the home schedule with Senior Day vs. Bellarmine on April 28.

A road game at Colgate on May 5 will provide the final tune-up for the NCAA tournament, which is set to begin on the weekend on May 12-13 and conclude with the National Championship game on Memorial Day, May 28, in Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

2012 Schedule
Day Date Opponent LocationTime
Sat. Feb. 18 HARTFORD College Park, Md. 1 p.m.
Fri. Feb. 24 at Georgetown Washington, D.C. 7 p.m.
Sat. March 3 DUKE * College Park, Md. 1 p.m.
Tues. March 6 at UMBC Baltimore, Md. 7 p.m.
Sat. March 10 MARIST College Park, Md. 1 p.m.
Sat. March 17 VILLANOVA College Park, Md. 1 p.m.
Sat. March 24 at North Carolina * Chapel Hill, N.C. Noon
Sat. March 31 Virginia * College Park, Md. Noon
Fri. April 6 Navy College Park, Md. 7 p.m.
Sat. April 14 at Johns Hopkins Baltimore, Md. 6 p.m.
Fri. April 20 ACC Semifinals Charlottesville, Va. 5/7:30 p.m.
Sun. April 22 ACC Finals Charlottesville, Va. 3:30 p.m.
Wed. April 25 at Mount St. Mary’s Emmitsburg, Md. 7 p.m.

    MARYLAND DAY    
Sat. April 28 BELLARMINE College Park, Md. 1 p.m.

Sat. May 5 at Colgate Hamilton, N.Y. 1 p.m.
Sat.-Sun. May 12-13 NCAA Tournament Campus Sites TBA
Sat.-Sun. May 19-20 NCAA Quarterfinals Annapolis, Md. or Philadelphia, Pa. TBA
Sat. May 26 NCAA Semifinals Foxborough, Mass. (Gillette Stadium) 4/6:30 p.m.
Mon. May 28 NCAA Championship Foxborough, Mass. (Gillette Stadium) 3:30 p.m.
Home games in BOLD CAPS are played at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium
Dates, times and location are subject to change.
* ACC game

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Sunday Lax: Maryland Stuns Syracuse to Advance to Final Four in Baltimore

Posted on 22 May 2011 by WNST Staff

After the heartbreak of Johns Hopkins’ stunning loss to Denver University Saturday, the University of Maryland made sure Charm City wouldn’t be without a state team in the Final Four for a second straight year by stunning Syracuse in overtime. Here’s the official recap courtesy of the Terrapins’ Sports Information Department, as well as the official recap of Salisbury’s win over Roanoke; which advanced the Sea Gulls to next week’s Division III NCAA Championship Game next Sunday.

Terps Move On To Final Four With 6-5 Win


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. –
Senior Grant Catalino scored with a low-to-high rocket from the right wing with 0:32 left in the first overtime to give the University of Maryland men’s lacrosse team a 6-5 victory over No. 1 seed Syracuse in front of 14,122 Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.

The victory gives the Terps a 12-4 overall record this season and sends them to their first Final Four since 2006.

The overtime period started with sophomore Curtis Holmes winning his 11th face-off of the game on a big groundball by senior Dan Burns. But the Terps couldn’t get the game-winner on that possession and the Orange had a chance for the win with just under 2:00 to go in OT.

Syracuse’s Kevin Drew scooped up a loose ball and carried it into the Maryland zone. Drew dodged down the right alley on the transition chance, but his shot sailed right of the goal and the Orange failed to back-up the shot, giving possession pack to the Terps.

Maryland cleared the ball easily and set-up a play that started with senior Scott LaRue dodging from the far left wing. The Orange defense stepped up and forced LaRue to move the ball to senior Ryan Young behind the Syracuse goal. Young quickly followed the play and moved the ball to Catalino, who popped out on the right wing and he buried the game-winner from nine yards out.

As exciting as the game ended, it was slow going for both offenses in the first half.

A Maryland turnover caused by Syracuse’s Joel White led to the only goal of the first quarter as Jeremy Thompson scored at the 3:03 mark of the first to give the Orange a 1-0 lead.

With 4:45 left in the second Jovan Miller scored unassisted to make it a 2-0 lead for Syracuse, but the Terps broke through a stingy Orange defense at the 3:58 mark to cut the deficit back to one.

Senior Ryan Young ripped a pass from the high right alley to the left side of the crease where junior Drew Snider was waiting and Snider bounced a shot past SU goalie John Galloway for the goal.

That seemed to awaken the Maryland offense as the Terps tied the game at 2-2 less than two minutes later. Senior Scott LaRue dodged hard from the left wing and got under SU short-stick Tim Harder. LaRue went hard to the crease and put a shot inside the far pipe for his second goal of the season.

Maryland continued its scoring run into the third quarter when the man-up unit came through with a goal after the holding call on Syracuse’s Stephen Kehoe expired. Junior Jake Bernhardt caught his defender ball-watching and cut to the crease where senior Travis Reed found him with a pin-point pass. Bernhardt then one-timed a dunk to give the Terps their first lead of the game, 3-2, at the 9:37 mark.

The man-up unit struck again after a double-penalty on the Orange expired. This time it was Reed scoring the goal, placing a low-to-low shot inside the far pipe from the right wing, making it a 4-2 Maryland lead with 7:42 to go in the third.

Syracuse got back to within a goal on JoJo Marasco’s unassisted goal at the 1:46 mark and SU looked to be in line to take the last shot of the quarter but a procedure violation gave the Terps the ball with 10 seconds remaining.

Young had the ball in the far left corner of the restraining box as the clock ticked down. His desperation heave to the crease paid off when LaRue redirected the ball past Galloway to give Maryland a 5-3 lead going into the fourth.

An illegal body check on senior Brett Schmidt gave the Orange an extra-man opportunity early in the fourth and Thompson converted with his second goal of the game to make it a 5-4 Maryland lead with 10:53 to go.

A save by Galloway with just over 2:00 to go in the fourth gave Syracuse the ball with a chance to tie. After an Orange timeout, Miller dodged the right alley and scored on a high shot with 1:05 left to make it a 5-5 game.

The Orange had the momentum and then got the ball on the ensuing face-off when White picked up the loose ball. The Orange used their final timeout of the second half to set-up a play with 0:55 left.

Syracuse went to Miller again, but this time senior Brian Farrell was able to get his stick on Miller, disrupting the shot, which enabled redshirt freshman Niko Amato to make the biggest of his nine saves of the game.

The Terps advance to the Final Four in Baltimore and will play No. 5 Duke, which defeated No. 4 Notre Dame, 7-5, in the second quarterfinal game at Gillette Stadium. The Terps/Blue Devils match-up will be the second game of the Saturday doubleheader that features No. 6 Denver meeting No. 7 Virginia in the first game at 4 p.m.

Game Notes:
• With the 6-5 win Maryland is now 9-6 all-time vs. Syracuse.
• Maryland is now 44-31 all-time in NCAA tournament games and is 2011 in the quarterfinals.
• The Terps are now 19-21-3 all-time in overtime games and 5-3 in overtime games in the NCAA tournament.
• With three points on three assists, senior Ryan Young now has 48 multi-point and 29 multi-assist games for his career.
• Young’s three assists give him 96 for his career, moving him past Mike Mollott (95, 2000-03) and tying him with Jack Heim (1965-67) for eighth on the Terps’ all-time assists list.
• With two points on a goal and an assist, senior Grant Catalino now has 46 multi-point games for his career.
• Catalino’s two points give him 177 for his career, moving him past Pete Worstell (175, 1977-81) for 14th on the Terps’ all-time goals list.
• Catalino’s goal was the 10th game-winner of his career and is his second game-winner in an overtime game.
• With two points on a goal and an assists, senior Travis Reed now has 36 multi-point games for his career.
• Senior Scott LaRue’s two goals give him the first multi-goal and second multi-point game of his career.

Baltimore Bound With 16-7 Victory Over Roanoke; Gulls Will Play Tufts For Second-Straight Year

SALISBURY, Md. The top-ranked Salisbury University men’s lacrosse team is heading back to Baltimore for its second-straight and 13th overall NCAA Division III national championship game after capturing a 16-7 victory over No. 7 Roanoke College on Sunday at Sea Gull Stadium.

Salisbury (20-1) will play Tufts University, which defeated Rochester Institute of Technology 16-12 in the North Region semifinal, next Sunday at 7 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. The maroon and gold will be competing for the program’s ninth national championship. The Jumbos and Sea Gulls met in the 2010 national championship game, with Tufts claiming a 9-6 victory to earn its first national championship in program history. Please visit www.suseagulls.com in the coming days for information regarding the national championship contest as it becomes available.

After 10 minutes of scoreless play, the Sea Gulls tallied the game’s first goal as junior attackman Matt Cannone took a feed from sophomore midfielder Ryan Clarke and finished it into the net for the 1-0 lead with 4:57 left in the first quarter. The Sea Gulls won the ensuing face-off, with sophomore midfielder Corey Nowak picking up the ground ball; the Ballston Lake, N.Y., native burst past his defender and ripped a shot on frame and into the net to hand Salisbury two goals in a span of 10 seconds. After gaining possession nearly a minute later, Roanoke (17-4) called a time-out with 2:06 remaining in the quarter. During the time-out, officials flagged a member of the Maroons (17-4) for an illegal stick, handing SU a three-minute man-up advantage. The Sea Gulls closed out the quarter with man-up goals from junior attackmen Kyle Quist and Tony Mendes.

Salisbury’s man-up advantage continued to start off the second quarter, and the Sea Gulls took full advantage with junior attackman Erik Krum tallying an unassisted goal with 14:37 to play in the half. Over the next several minutes, the maroon and gold would tack on three additional goals, including another man-up goal from Krum, to extend the lead 8-0 in favor of the hosts. Roanoke got on the board with 10:14 remaining in the second quarter, as Jeff Keating recorded an unassisted goal. The Sea Gulls would outscore the Maroons 3-1 to close out the first half.

At the halftime break, Salisbury outshot Roanoke 23-10, picked up 21 groundballs compared to 11 for the Maroons and won 8-of-13 face-offs.

The Sea Gulls kicked off the third quarter with goals from Krum and Mendes before Roanoke ended the quarter with four-straight markers to cut the deficit to 13-6.

Krum added an unassisted goal just 23 seconds into the quarter to hand Salisbury a 14-6 lead and record his fourth and final goal of the contest. The Sea Gulls would take advantage of slashing penalty on the Maroons, their fifth of the contest, with Cannone scoring off of a pass from Quist. Roanoke’s Conner DuBois scored the team’s final goal of the game with 9:01 remaining before SU sophomore midfielder Sam Bradman closed out the scoring with an unassisted goal with 7:01 remaining.

Cannone led the way in the contest for Salisbury with a game-high six points on three goals and three assists. Krum (four goals) and Mendes (three goals, one assist) finished with four points, while Quist (two goals, one assist) followed shortly behind with three points.

SU senior goalkeeper Johnny Rodriguez notched 13 saves, one caused turnover and three groundballs to earn the win before being relieved by senior goalkeeper Tim Swinburn to a standing ovation from the Salisbury faithful.

Two Salisbury players deserving of special recognition are senior defender Collin Tokosch and Nowak. The two combined for 18 of the team’s 45 groundballs in the victory.

Keating posted a team-high two goals for the Maroons, while Justin Tuma collected one goal and one assist.

Roanoke goalkeeper Charles Pease finished with seven saves in nearly 54 minutes of action, with Mike Hardon recording six minutes of playing time and staving off one Salisbury shot.

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Hopkins Seeded 3rd, Maryland Unseeded in NCAA Lacrosse Tournament

Posted on 09 May 2011 by WNST Staff

Here are the official releases courtesy of the schools’ Sports Information Departments…

Hopkins Draws Third Seed, Hofstra in First Round of NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament

2011 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Bracket in PDF FormatGet Acrobat Reader

BALTIMORE, MD — Johns Hopkins earned the number three seed in the 2011 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament and will host Hofstra in the first round on Saturday, May 14 at noon it was announced by the NCAA Selection Committee on Sunday night. Johns Hopkins (12-2) and Hofstra (13-2) both earned at-large bids to the 16-team tournament and will be meeting in the NCAAs for the fifth time. The game will be televised live from Homewood Field on ESPN2.

The winner of the Johns Hopkins-Hofstra first round game will play the winner of the Denver-Villanova game at 2:30 pm on Saturday May 21 as part of a quarterfinal doubleheader at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium. Denver, which earned the number six seed, will host Villanova in the first round on Sunday, May 15 at 5:15 pm.

Surprisingly, this is just the third time Johns Hopkins has been seeded third in the tournament. Johns Hopkins was most recently seeded third in 2007 and the Blue Jays parlayed that into the program’s ninth NCAA championship.

This will be the 24th time Johns Hopkins and Hofstra have played in a series that dates to an 18-10 Johns Hopkins win in 1974. The Blue Jays lead the all-time series 18-5, although the teams have split the last six meetings with the home team holding serve in each of those six.

Johns Hopkins boasts a 65-30 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament with nine NCAA titles to its credit. The Blue Jays’ 65 wins and 18 championship-game appearances are both national records. In addition, JHU’s current streak of 40 straight trips to the NCAA Tournament in men’s lacrosse is the longest of any team in any Division I men’s team sport. The next longest active streak of qualifying for the NCAA men’s lacrosse tournament is nine (Maryland).

Johns Hopkins, which tied a school record with 12 regular season victories this year, features one of the youngest teams in the nation as the Blue Jays count eight freshmen and sophomores among their starting 10. Six of JHU’s top eight scorers are freshmen or sophomores and seven of the eight are due to return next season.

The Blue Jay offense is led on attack by seniors Chris Boland and Kyle Wharton and sophomore Zach Palmer. Boland leads the team in goals (30) and ranks second in points (43), while Wharton counts 28 goals and seven assists to his credit. Palmer leads the team in assists (23) and points (44) and is bidding to become just the third Johns Hopkins player since 2000 to register 25 goals and 25 assists in the same season.

Defensively the Blue Jays are led by sophomore goalie Pierce Bassett, who ranks among the national leaders with a 6.70 goals against average and a .586 save percentage. He is 15-6 in 21 career starts and is joined defensively by sophomores Tucker Durkin and Chris Lightner and freshman Jack Reilly, who have teamed to start all 14 games on close defense. The Blue Jays have held all 14 of their opponents to 11 goals or less and only three teams managed more than nine goals against Johns Hopkins this season.

Hofstra, which is making its 17th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, features a balanced, explosive offense and one of the stingiest defenses in the nation. The high-scoring trio of Jay Card (28g, 15a), Jamie Lincoln (29g, 10a) and Stephen Bentz (23g, 14a) paces an offense that averages 10.3 goals per game, while junior goalie Andrew Gvozden is among the top five in the nation in both goals against average (5.70) and save percentage (.621).

The Pride earned their at-large bid on the strength of a 13-2 record that saw them lose only a pair of games to Delaware by a goal. The second of those two came in last week’s CAA Semifinals by a 10-9 score. Prior to that Hofstra had reeled off eight straight wins since losing to the Blue Hens, 7-6, on March 19.

Johns Hopkins and Hofstra had four common opponents this season in Princeton, Towson, Delaware and Manhattan. Johns Hopkins was 3-1 in its four games against those teams, while Hofstra was 3-2.

Playing at home has been good for Johns Hopkins in its NCAA Tournament history. The Blue Jays are 42-4 all-time at Homewood Field in NCAA Tournament games, including a perfect 9-0 under head coach Dave Pietramala.

Tickets for the game will go on sale in the Newton White Athletic Center on the Johns Hopkins campus on Monday, May 9 at 9 am. Fans can also order tickets over the phone by calling 410/516-7490. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students at one of the participating schools (with ID), children 12 and under and senior citizens. Children two and under are free. Tickets will also go on sale on Saturday at 10:30 am at all ticket booths at Homewood Field. All tickets are general admission – there is no reserved seating at Homewood Field for the NCAA Tournament.

Terps Draw No. 8 Seed UNC In NCAA Tournament

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – For the ninth-straight year the University of Maryland men’s lacrosse team will compete in the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship tournament. The Terps, which received an at-large bid, will play at No. 8-seed North Carolina in the first round at Fetzer Field, Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. The game will be televised live on ESPN.

This marks the second time that Maryland has been unseeded since 1997 and just the fifth time overall since the tournament began in 1972. The Terps were previously unseeded in 1993 and 1994. In those first two unseeded-years Maryland lost its first round game to the No. 8-seeded team, which were Army and Duke, respectively. The Terrapins were much more successful in 1997, advancing to the NCAA championship game. Maryland defeated No. 7-seed Georgetown in the first round before knocking off No. 2 Virginia in the quarters. In the 1997 Final Four Maryland upset No. 3 Syracuse, but couldn’t topple No. 1-seed Princeton in the finals. The last time the Terps were unseeded was 2009 and that year Maryland was the lone unseeded team to win a first round game, knocking off previously unbeaten Notre Dame, 7-3. The Terps lost to eventual national champion Syracuse in the quarterfinals.

The Terrapins are 39-10 all-time against the Tar Heels, but have faced them only once in the NCAA tournament. That meeting came 25 years ago in 1986 and Carolina, the No. 5 seed, upset No. 4 seed Maryland, 12-10, in Byrd Stadium.

Maryland and North Carolina have already met twice in 2011. The Tar Heels took the first meeting, defeating the Terps, 11-6, on March 26 in College Park. Maryland evened the season series with Carolina in the semifinals of the ACC tournament, rallying from a four-goal deficit in the fourth quarter to take a 7-6 win on April 22 in Durham, N.C.

The Terps, 10-4 on the season, were awarded one of 10 at-large bids to the tournament. North Carolina, 10-5 on the year, also made it into the field as an at-large selection. The Tar Heels are making their 26th NCAA appearance, while Maryland is making its 34th appearance in the tournament.

Carolina has won four NCAA titles, while the Terps have won two. This is the first time since 1999 (Syracuse vs. Princeton) that two former national championship teams are meeting in the first round.

The winner of the North Carolina/Maryland game will meet the winner of the Syracuse/Siena first round game in the quarterfinals on Sunday, May 22, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Tournament Breakdown:
No. 1 Syracuse (Big East) vs. Siena (MAAC AQ) – May 15, 7:30 p.m.
No. 8 North Carolina (ACC) vs. Maryland (ACC)- May 15, 1 p.m.

No. 4 Notre Dame (Big East) vs. Penn (Ivy) – May 14, 2:30 p.m.
No. 5 Duke (ACC) vs. Delaware (CAA AQ) – May 14, 5 p.m.

No. 3 Johns Hopkins (Independent) vs. Hofstra (CAA) – May 14, Noon
No. 6 Denver (ECAC AQ) vs. Villanova (Big East) – May 15, 5:15 p.m.

No. 2 Cornell (Ivy AQ) vs. Hartford (America East AQ) – May 14, 7:30 p.m.
No. 7 Virginia (ACC) vs. Bucknell (Patriot AQ) – May 15, 3 p.m.

Tournament Teams By Conference:
ACC (4): Duke, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia
Big East (3): Syracuse, Notre Dame, Villanova
CAA (2): Delaware (AQ), Hofstra
Ivy (2): Cornell (AQ), Penn
ECAC (1): Denver (AQ)
Independent (1): Johns Hopkins
America East (1): Hartford (AQ)
MAAC (1): Siena (AQ)
Patriot League (1): Bucknell (AQ)

Stevenson Earns Bye in NCAA Championship, Hosts Cabrini-Widener in Second Round

Bracket

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Stevenson men’s lacrosse team will be making its third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Championship as the No. 3-ranked Mustangs received a first round bye and will host the winner of Cabrini and Widener at Caves Athletics Complex in the second round on Saturday, May 14.

Stevenson (17-2) was one of three teams to receive a first round bye in the South Region along with No. 1 Salisbury and No. 5 Dickinson. The Sea Gulls will host the winner between Springfield and No. 17 Endicott while the Red Devils welcome the winner of Adrian and No. 15 Wittenberg.

A total of 26 teams were selected for this year’s national championship with No. 2 RIT, No. 4 SUNY Cortland and No. 7 and defending national championship Tufts receiving first round byes in the North Region.

Six of Stevenson’s 2011 opponents advanced to the tournament, including Salisbury, Cortland, Tufts, No. 8 Roanoke, No. 16 Denison and Scranton. The Mustangs posted a 5-2 record against the opponents, going 1-1 versus the Sea Gulls with their only other loss coming against Tufts.

Stevenson is 5-11 all-time versus former CSAC rival Cabrini and 2-0 against Widener. Two of the Mustangs’ five victories against Cabrini have come in the last two seasons in NCAA Division III Men’s Lacrosse Championship.

More information on Saturday’s second round contest at Caves Athletics Complex, including game time and ticket information, will be made available on GoMustangSports.com as soon as it becomes available.

The quarterfinals will be on Wednesday, May 18 with the semifinals on Sunday, May 22. The Division III national championship game will be played on Sunday, May 29 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

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Ravens 10-Pack: Baltimore feeling Super at 4-1

Posted on 12 October 2010 by Luke Jones

Even with the daunting task of traveling to Foxborough to take on the New England Patriots this Sunday, you have to feel good about the Ravens’ 4-1 start and the early lead atop the AFC North with the first month of the season already in the books.

With three of the first four on the road (two of them division games), you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who thought the Ravens would fare better than they have after road victories against the Jets and Steelers. And when you take a look around the rest of the league, the Ravens’ accomplishments look even more impressive.

Parity is a word all-too-familiar to NFL fans, but the notion seemed to be waning over the last few seasons with the regular-season success of the 2007 Patriots and extended runs at perfection by the Colts and Saints last year. However, with the 1972 Dolphins uncorking the champagne before Columbus Day — with no 4-0 teams in the NFL since 1970 — and only eight teams sporting one loss through the first five weeks of the season, 2010 appears up for grabs in mid-October.

Are the Ravens the best team in the NFL?

Being this early, who cares? But it’s difficult to argue any team has looked better than Baltimore.

If the Ravens can beat New England (3-1), it will mark just the second 5-1 start in franchise history, the other coming in the 2000 season.

However, for some perspective, at the time of the 5-1 start, Tony Banks was the starting quarterback and the Ravens had just won their second straight game without scoring a touchdown.

Things changed very quickly — in a bad way — before a historic run began and Trent Dilfer and the Ravens found themselves holding the Lombardi Trophy at the end of January.

1. Since taking over as head coach in 2008, John Harbaugh has shown the uncanny ability to take care of business against inferior teams, home or away.

In 37 regular season games under Harbaugh, the Ravens have never lost to a team that finished the season with a losing record. As unimpressive as that might sound to the casual observer, you’ll find a “bad” loss by a playoff-caliber team nearly every week in the NFL.

Of course, the opposite argument can be made that the Ravens have fallen short too many times against quality opponents — especially last season when they struggled to get to the playoffs at 9-7 — but winning the games you’re supposed to win and holding your own against winning teams will put you in an enviable position.

The postseason.

Time will determine whether their Week 2 loss in Cincinnati breaks the string, but the Harbaugh-led Ravens have managed to avoid the unwarranted defeats the team suffered in previous seasons.

2. All eyes will be on Bill Belichick and the Patriots in their first game since trading disgruntled receiver Randy Moss to the Minnesota Vikings and re-acquiring former Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks. The removal of Moss will undoubtedly impact the New England offense, but how much?

Expect a little gadgetry on Sunday as Tom Brady deciphers where everyone fits in the post-Moss era.

Of course, Belichick had an extra week to figure it out with the Patriots’ Week 5 bye, and his record in New England coming off the bye week is an impressive 8-2, including seven straight wins. But before we write off the Ravens at Gillette Stadium and bow to the genius of Belichick, we should remember that four of the last six have come against the Buffalo Bills.

Not to belittle an impressive feat, but game-planning against a team led in recent years by the likes of Dick Jauron and Mike Mularkey is a bit easier than facing the team that blasted you in the playoffs just nine months ago.

In the Harbaugh era, the Ravens are 2-1 when playing teams coming off their bye week. All three games were last season, which included wins against Cleveland and Denver as well as a road loss to Cincinnati.

3. Putting aside the obvious threat of Brady to Wes Welker, defensive coordinator Greg Mattison’s biggest concern might be a pair of rookie tight ends.

Through the Patriots’ first four games, Welker leads the team in receptions (26), but not receiving yards. That distinction belongs to Aaron Hernandez (18 catches for 240 yards) despite being the second tight end drafted (fourth round) by New England in April. Rob Gronkowski, a second-round selection, has posted modest numbers (six catches for 62 yards) but was an impressive talent eyed by the Ravens leading up to the draft.

The Ravens have struggled covering the intermediate middle of the field in recent years, so the inside linebacker corps of Ray Lewis, Jameel McClain, and Dannell Ellerbe will need to keep a close eye on these rookie targets.

4. As much as we lamented the absence of Matt Stover a season ago, let’s tip our caps to Billy Cundiff. His ability to boot the football deep into the end zone on kickoffs is an underappreciated factor in the Ravens being 4-1.

His four touchbacks against the Broncos on Sunday matched the total number by Baltimore kickers all of last year.

Whispers of Stover will not dissipate — if they ever do — until we see Cundiff make a 47-yarder to win a late-season game, but the distinct upgrade on kickoffs cannot be overlooked.

As great as Stover was with the game on the line, fans easily forget his kickoffs barely traveling inside the 10-yard line, often setting up the opponent with good field position.

5. Plenty has been said about Cam Cameron’s choice to use Haloti Ngata at tight end on Sunday’s opening drive and the near-disaster that followed with the defensive tackle down on the field.

I offer you three names: James Jones (1996), Herman Arvie (1996), and Jonathan Ogden (1996 and 2003), three linemen who all registered touchdown catches with the Ravens.

The difference in this case? Cameron and Harbaugh have too many offensive weapons at their disposal to risk losing one of the greatest defensive players in the game today. Why spend draft picks on two tight ends to complement Todd Heap and then risk your best defensive player trying to be too cute?

Ngata playing offense was a fun spectacle until we saw what nearly happened with the Ravens’ season flashing before the eyes of 71,000 people at M&T Bank Stadium.

Lesson learned — hopefully.

6. It was natural for questions to arise whether the Ravens had any interest in bringing back Antwan Barnes after he was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles last week, but  Harbaugh promptly shot down the idea on Monday. (Update: Barnes signed a contract with the San Diego Chargers on Wednesday afternoon)

In three years with the Ravens, the linebacker-defensive end managed only five sacks and sealed his fate last October when he whiffed on a tackle of Cedric Benson that led to a 28-yard touchdown run and an eventual loss to the Bengals.

Barnes is too small to provide help at defensive end, where the Ravens need a consistent pass-rush threat, and not athletic enough to play linebacker on every down. If they didn’t want him before the season, what would have changed a month later?

“I haven’t had a conversation with him,” Harbaugh said on Monday. “We don’t really have a roster opportunity right now for that. We wouldn’t be opposed to it. Antwan’s a good person, a good player. Obviously, he’s done some good things here. But, right now, there’s no way roster-wise we could pull that off.”

In other words, “Thanks, but no thanks — we’ve moved on.”

7. If all goes to plan and you believe the recent comments made by Harbaugh, Sunday will mark the final game before All-Pro safety Ed Reed returns to the 53-man roster after beginning the season on the physically unable to perform list.

During training camp, I said Tom Zbikowski would do an adequate job at free safety in Reed’s absence, and the third-year safety has done just that. So with the Ravens currently having the second-best pass defense in the NFL (behind only the New York Giants), the question must be asked:

How well will Reed fit into the secondary when he returns to the starting lineup?

The Baltimore defense no longer plays the exotic, aggressive schemes of Rex Ryan, but employs a conservative, “bend, but don’t break” style under Mattison. Reed has always gambled in the defensive backfield, at times leaving teammates out to dry in coverage while also making some of the greatest plays in NFL history.

With the 32-year-old returning from hip surgery, it will be interesting to see whether Reed takes a more conservative approach in coverage or returns with a bigger chip on his shoulder to prove he’s still one of the best defensive players in the league and deserving of the new contract he so desperately wants. If Reed proves to be a lesser player than he was prior to the hip procedure but plays with the same aggressive style, the secondary could be more vulnerable to the big play.

That said, it is hard to doubt a player who will one day be enshrined in Canton.

8. Speaking of injured players, you have to wonder how long the Ravens will continue to wait for Jared Gaither to return. Other than being a limited participant in one practice a couple weeks ago, the offensive tackle has been out with a thoracic disc injury since training camp.

With roster decisions looming with Reed and fellow PUP list members Brendon Ayanbadejo and Matt Lawrence, Ozzie Newsome and Harbaugh may need to pull the plug on the projected starter at right tackle.

The improved play of Marshal Yanda at right tackle and Chris Chester at right guard has eased concerns on the right side of the line. Cohesion upfront is difficult to develop, so Gaither’s potential return would require another period of adjustment, something the coaching staff might be uncomfortable with later in the season.

Keep in mind, Gaither has not played right tackle regularly since the early part of his collegiate career at Maryland, so this isn’t a savvy veteran who can step right in to his regular position when healthy.

If Gaither does not make significant progress by the bye week, his season will likely come to a disappointing end.

9. Much has been said about the return of the three-headed running attack and the 2008-like feel to Sunday’s win over the Broncos, but don’t expect it to last.

Like it or not, the Ravens’ current profile is a pass-first team that runs the ball efficiently. The dominating 233-yard rushing performance against Denver was more the effect of a comfortable lead than some epiphany for Cameron.

Of Joe Flacco’s 97 completions through five games, 50 have been for under 10 yards, looking a little like the “running” game of the Patriots with Brady under helm. However, his 6.6 yards per attempt (the lowest of his career) needs to increase for the offense to continue growing.

Despite the profile change — which really began last season — the ability to pound the football looms large when the elements grow harsh, and the Ravens will use it when appropriate.

10. Ranking 19th in the league in total offense (328.2 yards per game) and tied for 17th in points scored (18.4 per game), the Baltimore offense has room for improvement with Cameron and Flacco trying to distribute the ball to keep a plethora of talented players — and egos — happy.

As well as the defense has played, it hasn’t done its counterpart any favors in the turnover department with only three takeaways and a -6 turnover differential, both last in the AFC.

Nothing gives an offense more confidence than starting drives on a short field, and a few more turnovers might be the serum the offense needs to excel. Fortunately, the defense and kick coverage has played well enough to win the field-position battle in most instances, but the turnover differential must improve if the Ravens are to take a step toward elitism, offensively and as a team.

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Festivus in Indy: What does it mean to Baltimore?

Posted on 15 January 2010 by Luke Jones

As thousands of Ravens fans journey to Indianapolis on Friday and Saturday, my thoughts begin drifting toward the significance of Saturday’s game in Baltimore football lore. While the outcome will ultimately determine it as triumph or bitter disappointment, Baltimoreans making the trip to the home of the stolen franchise—presumably the first time for most—is significant in and of itself.

Being 26 years old and belonging to a generation too young to remember the Colts playing in Baltimore—I was a mere five months old when the Mayflower vans left Owings Mills in the middle of the night—but having a father who lived and breathed that mystical era and educated me over the course of 21 years, my appreciation for our city’s football heritage cannot be overstated—it was all I had as a kid.

After all, while fans older than me had the memories of Johnny Unitas, Big Daddy Lipscomb, Bert Jones, and Mike Curtis in their hearts and minds, my generation grew up in a town full of cherished stories but void of first-hand experiences. To us, professional football was what they played in other cities while Baltimore desperately held the stories of yesteryear and an undying hope of the NFL eventually returning to the Charm City.

Growing up in the late 80s and early 90s while Baltimore pursued expansion and courted the Cardinals and Buccaneers, the mere mention of the city of Indianapolis made my father’s blood boil, and as a result, his impressionable son quickly adopted the same mentality, even without fully understanding why.

The notion that a team—your team—could pack up and leave town in the middle of the night was something I couldn’t begin to comprehend. For a 9-year old boy who absolutely lived and died with the Orioles (the only professional team in town), the possibility of them ceasing to exist in Baltimore was comparable to the sun not rising in the morning.

It wasn’t because of the people or the city itself—I knew nothing of them nor did I want to—but the fact that it became the residence of a team that so deeply mattered to my father, grandfather, and millions of others. In my youthful eyes, Indianapolis stole the birthright that was supposed to belong to me, an opportunity to witness and enjoy professional football and create many more memories with my father on fall Sunday afternoons.

I didn’t care about or understand the political or financial reasons for the move; all I knew was a devil-like man named Bob Irsay had stripped us of the horseshoe, the blue and white, and the record book that so naturally belonged in Baltimore—not Indianapolis.

It was a helpless feeling.

But, thankfully, we can fast-forward to the present.

The Ravens are again the toast of the town as they have been for the last decade. The city has another Super Bowl championship in its trophy case, a beautiful football stadium, and committed, local ownership. After 12 years in professional football purgatory (with no disrespect meant to the USFL Stars or the CFL Stallions), our city has quickly regained its place as one of the best football towns in the NFL. Just ask the fans in Foxborough last weekend.

While the bitterness and scars of the Colts leaving remain and it’s completely justified despite the ignorant remarks of less-educated fans to “get over it,” Baltimore has come out of that hardship better than ever. One can only point to the city gaining another team after 12 years and still winning a championship before Indianapolis earned its first ring as perfect justification.

Unquestionably, Saturday’s game between Baltimore and Indianapolis is first and foremost about winning and advancing to the AFC Championship. And that fact alone shows just how far this city has come since late March of 1984. Baltimore is far more excited about another playoff run than the chance to beat Indianapolis for the first time since 2001. Knocking Indy out of the postseason would simply be the icing on the Festivus cake.

Despite the excitement of the playoffs and a chance to return to the conference championship, this road trip to Indianapolis conjures up memories of my father and those empty Sundays during my childhood. While the Ravens gave us countless memories—including a Super Bowl title—before his passing in 2004, the long wait to create those football memories was frustrating, adding extra significance to this trip.

For that reason, I strongly feel his presence this week as we travel to that slimy city to prove how passionate Baltimore fans are about their football team and illustrate that Irsay may have abandoned the city and its fan base for another, but he never replaced—or even came close to matching—the passion that exists in the Charm City.

Indianapolis fans will witness thousands of Baltimoreans invading the city that stole its professional franchise 26 years ago.

Honestly, it’s no longer about the hate, the pain, or the bitterness, though it still exists in the hearts and souls of many.

This weekend is not only about winning a playoff game but also demonstrating to Indianapolis—and the rest of the NFL—that Baltimore is the far superior football town and always has been.

A Purple invasion and, hopefully, a win at Lucas Oil Stadium will prove it.

A victory may not erase 12 years without football and the empty Sundays of my youth, the January 2007 home playoff loss, or the scars of old Baltimore Colts fans, but it can finally cause something else to happen.

It might just give Baltimoreans a reason to smile when they think of Indianapolis.

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Scrappy Terps come up short in OT, fall to Wake Forest, 85-83

Posted on 12 January 2010 by Luke Jones

Over the final 25 minutes of regulation, the Terps played the “rope-a-dope” against the bigger Demon Deacons.

After the Terps jumped out to a 23-15 lead in the first half, a 15-4 Wake Forest run erased the advantage and seemingly put Maryland on the verge of a blowout loss. However, every time it appeared Wake Forest was ready to seize complete control and put Maryland away, the Terps grabbed the loose ball, capitalized with a put-back, or forced a turnover, keeping themselves within striking distance despite shooting only 40 percent from the field and struggling with their half-court offense.

The scrappy effort—and huge 3-point baskets by Landon Milbourne and Eric Hayes in the final minutes—landed the Terps temporary leads and eventually into overtime before Maryland lost its punching power, falling to Wake Forest, 85-83.

As has been the case for much of his four-year career in College Park, Greivis Vasquez kept the Terps (10-5, 1-1) in the game seemingly by himself, scoring 30 points and handing out seven assists. Unfortunately, even Vasquez ran out of gas in overtime, shooting only 1-for-6 and missing a key free throw. The senior missed a 3-pointer with 10 seconds remaining before Sean Mosley missed another, ending Maryland’s hopes of stealing a huge ACC road win.

Expectations were relatively high for this year’s team with experts pointing to the Terps’ experience—led by seniors Vasquez, Hayes, and Milbourne—as the main reason, but none of the three had what it took to get Maryland over the hump in overtime, as they combined for only three points in the extra period.

Aside from their late second-half heroics, Milbourne and Hayes were quiet throughout the night, as the undersized Milbourne (11 points on 5-for-15 shooting) wore down against the Deacons’ frontcourt and Hayes (8 points) never got into the flow of the game after first-half foul trouble.

And while Mosley (8 points, 13 rebounds) looked to be emerging earlier in the season as a consistent scoring option to complement Vasquez, the sophomore hasn’t looked the same since spraining his ankle in practice on Christmas night. Mosley has averaged just 8 points per game since coming back from the injury, though his defensive prowess cannot be overlooked.

So, once again, it was Vasquez needing to do it. It’s no secret the Terps live and die with the senior from Caracas, Venezuela, but it’s clear no one other than Vasquez could step up to help secure the win Tuesday night. To his credit, freshman Jordan Williams (12 points) stood his ground against the imposing Wake big men, but it was hardly enough to compensate for the Terps’ other deficiencies in the paint.

Maryland clearly lacks the talent of a young big man such as Al-Farouq Aminu (24 points and 13 rebounds) who can seemingly take over a game in the low post, so it must rely on its transition game and experience to come up big on the road. And while Vasquez did it for most of the night, his effort alone wasn’t enough.

It may not have been a game the Terps were expected—or even needed—to win, but it hurts knowing they came so painfully close to the knockout and a road win, something the Terps will need to do at least a few times this season if they want to be “dancing” in March.

Tuesday night could have been an impressive win to jump-start another NCAA tournament push, but instead, it will simply go down as a blown opportunity for the Terrapins.

Check out the final stats right here and the live blog below.

____________________________________________________

10:28 p.m. — SO close, but the Terps come up just short.

Mosley got a great look on the 3-pointer off the dribble after grabbing the rebound off the Vasquez miss.

Maryland falls in overtime, 85-83.

I agree with Gary Williams’ decision to go for the victory there. Just wish it had been a different result.

Back shortly with some final post-game thoughts.

10:24 p.m. — Smith hits the off-balanced runner to give Wake the lead at 85-83.

I don’t know how he made that.

Timeout, Maryland, with 14.8 seconds remaining. You would have to think Vasquez gets the ball here.

10:22 p.m. — A Vasquez foul sends Aminu to the line for two. He makes 1-of-2.

On the other end, Jordan Williams gets the tip-in off the Vasquez miss to tie it at 83!

10:20 p.m. — Two poor shots by Vasquez on that possession. No other way to describe it.

Maryland trails 82-81 with 1:01 remaining.

10:19 p.m. — Maryland gets out in transition, and Mosley takes it to the hole and draws the foul.

Can we PLEASE make our free throws?

Mosley drains both of them to make it a one-point game.

10:17 p.m. — Aminu picks up his fourth foul, sending Vasquez to the line. The senior misses the first but gets the second. Free throw shooting letting the Terps down here in overtime.

10:16 p.m. — Vasquez tries to draw the foul and puts up an air ball. Mosley grabs the offensive board but steps on the line. Gary Williams does not like the call.

Stewart hits another jumper, and Wake leads by 4.

10:14 p.m. — Ari Stewart gets the jumper to fall to give Wake a lead of 80-78 with 3:09 remaining. Timeout, Maryland.

10:13 p.m. — Williams misses two free throws. That hurts.

10:12 p.m. — Aminu hits a pair of freebies, and we’re tied at 78 with 3:45 to play.

10:10 p.m. — Vasquez hits the first basket of overtime to give Maryland the lead.

Wake cannot generate any offense on the other end, but the Deacons grab the offensive board. Following another miss, Milbourne pulls the board but travels with it.

Jordan Williams returns, giving Maryland a big lineup, but a few seconds later, Gregory fouls out. So much for the big lineup.

10:08 p.m. — As Glenn Clark pointed out on our Twitter feed (@WNST), it was hard not to think about another contest down in Winston-Salem when Laron Profit hit a game-winnter against Wake. Too bad we didn’t see a similar ending, but we’ll take overtime.

10:05 p.m. — OVERTIME. You’d like to get a better look than a Sean Mosley fadeaway jumper, but it was the right play by Vasquez to dish it to him.

10:04 p.m. — Aminu hits the free throw to tie the game. Timeout is called by Dino Gaudio.

10:03 p.m. — Vasquez with a huge jumper to regain the lead for the Terps.

A few moments later, Aminu pump fakes and draws a foul from Milbourne on a 3-point shot. A terrible play from a senior in that spot.

Aminu misses the first, makes the second, and Gary Williams will use a timeout to ice the sophomore on the third one.

10:00 p.m. — McFarland gets the tip-in off the Smith miss. Tie game.

9:59 p.m. — Hayes with a big three to give Maryland a 74-72 lead.

Maryland’s other seniors have finally emerged after quiet nights.

9:58 p.m. — Harris is fouled by Vasquez, and the frosh hits both free throws to give Wake a two-point lead.

Hayes cannot hit a deep three, but Milbourne chases it down. A moment later, Milbourne hits a THREE to give Maryland a one-point lead!

9:55 p.m. — Milbourne with a HUGE jumper from the corner to tie it at 65.

Harris hits another three to immediately grab the lead back, but Vasquez hits a three of his own. WOW!

9:53 p.m. — We’ve reached the final media timeout of the second half with Maryland trailing Wake, 65-63, with 3:54 to play.

What more could the Terps ask for despite shooting only 38 percent from the field in this one?

9:51 p.m. — Vasquez almost hits the runner in the lane after being fouled by L.D. Williams, his fifth foul. That’s a big loss for the Deacons.

The senior hits both free throws, cutting the lead to two. Maryland continues to hang right there despite their offensive woes.

9:49 p.m. — Another offensive rebound for the Deacons will send L.D. Williams to the charity stripe. He makes 1-of-2 to push the lead to four points.

9:47 p.m. — Vasquez has now gone ice cold. It’s just hard to envision the Terps pulling this one out with no one shooting well at this point.

9:45 p.m. — Does anyone else get the feeling the deficit is bigger than only five? This game has the feel of Wake being in complete control, but the Terps are one big run away from retaking the lead.

9:43 p.m. — We’ve reached the under-8 timeout with Wake Forest leading by five points. Maryland is just doing nothing on the offensive end.

9:41 p.m. – Smith drains a jumper, and the senior now has 12.

With Vasquez out of the game, it’s clear no one wants to take the shot. Following the block on Bowie, Wake finishes in transition with an Aminu dunk. Ugh.

9:39 p.m. — With Vasquez now cooling off, it’s imperative that SOMEONE steps up for the Terps.

A beautiful look from Vasquez on the in-bounds play leads to a layup for Jordan Williams. Maryland trails by three points at 60-57.

9:36 p.m. — Great anticipation from Bowie, grabbing the steal and going the distance for the layup, giving him 10 points for the game.

Perhaps that play can get the Terps going with 10 minutes to play.

9:35 p.m. — We’ve reached an official timeout with Wake leading the Terps, 58-53.

Though Mosley is the Terps’ leading rebounding with eight in the game, I’m beginning to wonder what toll the sprained ankle sustained on Christmas night has taken on the sophomore. The improved shooting stroke and offensive production we saw early in the year has disappeared.

Mosley has averaged only 8.0 ppg since the injury going into tonight, and he only has four in this one. He appeared to be the best candidate to become that second scoring option behind Vasquez, but it simply hasn’t happened since the injury.

9:30 p.m. — Padgett simply NEEDS to play stronger in the paint. Efforts like that are not going to draw any calls from officials—or any more playing time from Gary Williams.

Someone has to step up for the Terps other than Vasquez. Just nothing going offensively.

9:27 p.m. — Woods just ERASED that shot from Vasquez. Maryland then has trouble getting the ball in and has to throw it to the backcourt.

Vasquez turns it over, leading to a layup for Smith.

Timeout, Maryland. Wake leads by six as the Terps are having trouble generating much of anything on the offensive end.

9:23 p.m. — Smith hits a jumper from behind the free throw line. He’s been quite tonight.

Following a Mosley miss, Woods gets the jam and Wake leads by six. Danger time for the Terps here.

9:21 p.m. — A very smart play by Vasquez to draw the foul on the long jumper (foot on the line), leading to L.D. Williams picking up his third foul.

9:19 p.m. — Maryland is REALLY struggling on the glass now as the bigger Demon Deacons are beginning to show why they’re the top rebounding team in the conference.

We’ve reached our first official timeout of the second half with Wake Forest leading the Terps, 50-47.

9:17 p.m. — The one-handed runner by Vasquez cuts the lead to three. The Terps will need their leader to have a similar effort to what he showed against Florida State on Sunday.

9:15 p.m. — Mosley with a nice offensive board and finds Williams for a close-range shot. However, McFarland drains a long one for Wake.

Mosley with a beautiful pass to Milbourne, but the senior forward blows the layup. You cannot miss that shot.

9:14 p.m. — Hayes loses the ball out of bounds, Maryland’s ninth turnover. The Terps did a better job protecting the ball as the first half progressed, but it’s been a sloppy effort overall.

Aminu’s one-handed jam gives Wake a five-point advantage.

9:12 p.m. — Mike Gminski REALLY doesn’t have HD television? Wow, I thought I was the last one before finally seeing the light a couple months ago.

9:00 p.m. — Check out the first half stats right here.

8:55 p.m. — Gregory picks up his third foul with five seconds to go in the half. Not good, but I suppose it’s better than Jordan Williams picking it up.

Following a timeout, Vasquez misses a long three at the buzzer to close out the first half.

Wake Forest leads Maryland, 42-39. Definitely a disappointing finish to the half as the Terps had control of this one up until the seven-minute mark.

8:53 p.m. — Vasquez grabs the offensive rebound and is fouled. In the double bonus, Vasquez drains a pair of free throws for the Terps.

Smith misses a layup, and the Terps get out in transition, leading to Bowie being fouled on the layup attempt. The junior hits both freebies, giving him eight points. Bowie has played some quality minutes in Hayes’ absence due to foul trouble.

8:51 p.m. — Foul trouble is clearly plaguing the Terps as Williams, Gregory, and Hayes are all stuck on the bench with two fouls. It’s not coincidence the Deacons–and Aminu–began to wake up after that.

Harris hits a long triple to give Wake a five-point advantage. However, Bowie hits a RARE 3-pointer on the other end.

C.J. Harris just drilled ANOTHER triple from Raleigh to give him 13 points for the game. He’s only averaging 11.6 a game.

Timeout, Maryland.

8:47 p.m. — Remember when I said Aminu was hung over from Saturday’s loss? So much for that as the sophomore now has 11 points.

8:42 p.m. — A 6-0 run followed by a 7-0 run a couple minutes later has turned an eight-point lead into a 3-point lead for Wake.

The Deacons are on a 15-4 run since the Terps lead 23-15 with just over seven minutes to go in the half.

8:41 p.m. — Chas McFarland with a nice play, keeping the loose ball alive, which leads to the Harris layup. That looked more like a volleyball game than anything.

Harris hits a 3-pointer and Maryland’s lead is gone. Wake leads 28-27 with 4:15 to go.

8:37 p.m. — Maryland is beaten in transition again, leading to a Gary Clark layup and Hayes’ second foul. Clark completes the three-point play to shave the lead to five points.

Milbourne’s shot is blocked by Aminu, and the big sophomore scores on the other end plus the foul. Aminu hits the free throw, and the momentum has clearly shifted in favor of the Deacons.

Timeout, Maryland.

8:34 p.m. — The Terps continue to impress, holding a 23-15 lead and rebounding advantage against the Demon Deacons as we reach the under-8 timeout.

8:31 p.m. — Tony Woods with the big two-handed dunk, drawing a second foul on Williams as the freshman was beaten on the baseline. I guess my previous compliment jinxed the big man.

Gregory is fouled on the other end and makes a pair of free throws after a lane violation gives him a second chance.

8:30 p.m. — Aminu is definitely showing a bit of a hangover from his poor effort against Miami. The star sophomore only has two free throws and has not made a field goal in the game’s first 10 minutes.

8:28 p.m. — Jordan Williams with the block, forcing the jump ball. He’s continuing to be more assertive in the paint as a frosh.

8:26 p.m. — Vasquez throws it away as he was clearly anticipating that Gregory would cut to the basket. I know Gary Williams loves the junior forward’s energy, but he has to show a bit more of an offensive game near the basket.

8:24 p.m. — Smith is off to a quick start of his own against the Terps as the senior has six points.

Milbourne scores on the other end to push the lead back up to four points.

Following a Smith miss on the other end, a huge scrum with multiple players diving for the loose ball results in it going out of bounds to Wake. The Terps weren’t able to secure the loose ball off the long rebound, but it’s nice to see the effort after some uninspiring rebounding efforts earlier in the year.

8:21 p.m. — Adrian Bowie and Dino Gregory have checked in as Vasquez drains another three. The Venezuelan is en fuego with eight points already!

Maryland leads Wake, 15-11, with 11:47 remaining at the second media timeout.

8:19 p.m. — Vasquez drives the lane and finds a wide-open Jordan Williams on the dunk, an absolutely beautiful look!

8:18 p.m. — Smith drains the long jumper and the Deacons regain the lead. Vasquez answers with a 3-ball.

L.D. Williams hits a triple of his own as we’re seeing a bit of a shootout right now.

8:17 p.m. — Vasquez posts up and hits the jump hook, taking advantage of the mismatch.

After Hayes picks up a foul, Ari Stewart misses a shot and it goes out of bounds to Maryland. Vasquez’s shot is blocked, but the Terps will keep it and then immediately turn it over.

Very sloppy start for the Terps in the turnover department.

8:12 p.m. — Aminu settles for another long jumper and misses. On the other end, Hayes splashes a triple.

We’ve reached our first official timeout with Wake leading the Terps, 6-5.

8:11 p.m. — Mosley with the foul on Aminu, sending the big sophomore to the line. He makes a pair of freebies, and the Deacons lead 4-0.

Hayes with a beautiful dish to a wide-open Jordan Williams for the dunk, but the Terps are beat on the other end for a L.D. Williams layup. The Terps CANNOT get beat in transition if they want a chance in this one.

8:09 p.m. — Maryland with two turnovers in about 10 seconds. Not taking care of the basketball early with three turnovers in a little over a minute.

Jordan Williams did a great job defending the Williams dunk, but Milbourne misses the jumper on the other end. Maryland scoreless in the first 2+ minutes of the game.

8:07 p.m. — Maryland grabs the opening tip (dressed in red). Mosley misses the first shot of the game, but Aminu takes a three on the other end and misses. He can stay out there all day long if it were up to me.

Williams is called for the offensive foul a possession later.

8:00 p.m. — Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Maryland
G Greivis Vasquez
G Eric Hayes
G Sean Mosley
F Landon Milbourne
C Jordan Williams

Wake Forest
G Ishmael Smith
G C.J. Harris
G L.D. Williams
F Al-Farouq Aminu
C David Weaver

Steve Martin (no, not THAT one) and Mike Gminski will provide the call for Raycom Sports.

7:47 p.m. — As Terps fanatic and WNST host Bob Haynie astutely pointed out, the Demon Deacons’ size figures to be a serious concern for Gary Williams’s squad, but the Deacons are coming off a poor rebounding effort against Miami in which Gaudio criticized his team’s effort in boxing out.

The Terps won the rebounding effort against the Seminoles, an effort they will need to duplicate against Wake. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gary Williams show some bigger looks at times tonight by using Jordan Williams and Dino Gregory or James Padgett at the same time, with Milbourne sliding down to the 3.

7:35 p.m. — Good evening, Terps fans, and Happy Festivus as we await the start of Maryland’s ACC road opener in Winston-Salem against Dino Gaudio’s Demon Deacons (11-3, 1-1). The Terps (10-4, 1-0) are fresh off a conference-opening 77-68 victory over Florida State at the Comcast Center on Sunday evening. My apologies for the lack of coverage as I was returning from Foxborough after the Ravens’ huge playoff victory over the Patriots.

Wake Forest will try to rebound from a disappointing 67-66 loss at Miami on Saturday. The Demon Deacons are led by sophomore forward Al-Farouq Aminu who leads the team in both points (16.8 per game) and rebounds (11.6 per game). The 6-foot-9 big man—along with 7-footer Chas McFarland—will clearly provide a huge challenge to Jordan Williams, Landon Milbourne, and the Maryland frontcourt.

Greivis Vasquez, as he’s done so many times in his four years in College Park, saved the Terps in the second half with a 17-point effort and 22 for the game, his sixth-straight game with 20 or more points. The senior drilled a 3-pointer with 2:23 remaining to push the Terps’ advantage to nine points after the Seminoles were trying to climb back into the game in the final minutes.

Maryland has an opportunity to post its most impressive win of the season if it can steal an ACC road victory after a quick turnaround from Sunday’s game. Interestingly enough, both the Terps and Demon Deacons have lost to William & Mary this season, so both schools would clearly like to earn a win against an opponent expected to be in the upper half of the conference this season.

Senior Eric Hayes needs only seven points to become the 48th Terp to reach the 1000-point mark in school history. The guard scored 17 points against the Seminoles in Sunday’s win.

Tonight’s game can be seen on WNUV-TV in Baltimore (the Raycom Sports network) at 8:00 p.m.

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for thoughts and updates throughout the contest.

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Traveling to Indy? Here’s Everything you need to know about parties & fun!

Posted on 11 January 2010 by Nestor Aparicio

So, you’re a Ravens Maniac like us and you’re planning on coming to Indianapolis with us – hopefully on our Miller Lite Purple Playoff Roadtrip but perhaps on your own via planes, buses or automobiles — and you don’t really know the best way to go about it, book it or who to trust? This blog and this information is for Ravens fans like you.

Hop aboard and learn “all things Indianapolis, Ravens roadtrip and this weekend’s playoff game” here from WNST.net, where we pride ourselves on throwing the best parties and best events for the traveling purple crowd on the road!

First (as a shameless plug), our trip is on sale and our first bus is already sold out. We just put the second bus on sale. Honestly, our bus trip is designed to be the cheapest, easiest and most fun way to do the trip. You show up at 6 a.m. on Friday and almost everything is taken care of for you and you can relax and just have fun until Sunday night when we return around 9 p.m. (Go out on Facebook and ask around to the 109 people we took to New England this weekend or the thousands we’ve taken on the road in the past about our trips. No one does a trip like WNST. That’s a fact!)

But, judging from the droves of email I’m getting, lots of Ravens fans are developing lots of creative ways to get to Indianapolis – from BWI, from D.C., into various Midwestern locales via air, etc. And some are just piling into the “Family Roadster” and driving 10 hours all night on Friday and that all works, too!

If you’re coming to Indianapolis, we’ve developed a special Facebook page where we’ll be updating all pertinent info during the week. It’s called “I’m going to Indianapolis this weekend to see Ravens eliminate Colts!”

ANYONE who is wearing purple is cordially invited to come to our two massive parties on Friday night and all day Saturday to flock together, drink together, dance together, cheer together and have fun as a Baltimore community in Indianapolis.

(I’d insert some Irsay-related insult here, but I’ll refrain and keep that for Saturday afternoon when we might offer up a widely-popular side trip to piss on his grave. But, I digress…)

Here’s the biggest issue in Indy this weekend: there’s a gigantic cheerleader convention that is taking up 25,000 beds all weekend. This is clogging up virtually everything in the city this week.

The reality for Ravens fans? There are NO rooms available anywhere near the downtown area. If you’ve been shopping the internet, you already know this.

So, last week while I was researching the climate to throw a party and do a group trip pending a Ravens win in New England, I made some decisions to base my parties from an area north of the city called Broad Ripple. For lack of a better description, this is “the Fells Point of Indianapolis.” It’s a cool, walking bar area and we’ve obtained the three biggest bars in a party block to throw a gigantic purple area all night on Friday and all day on Saturday.

The good news: you won’t really be dealing with the Mertons of Indianapolis and stolen blue horseshoes until you get downtown on Saturday afternoon before the game. This town of Broad Ripple will become “Purple Ripple” sometime after 7 p.m. on Friday night.

Here are the details for our two parties:

Main Location: Rock Lobster, 820 Broad Ripple Ave. Indy

Click here for a full description of Rock Lobster and Average Joe’s and Mineshaft!

Official website for Broad Ripple Bars here…

Party pricing:

Friday (7 p.m. til 11 p.m.): $10 cover, cheap drinks all night

Saturday (11 a.m. til 6 p.m.): $20 in advance/$25 at door, FULL buffet & cheap drinks all night

If you buy BOTH parties now, it’s a $25 charge and you can buy the seats here…

Rock Lobster is our flagship headquarters on Friday night, but there’s little doubt that our parties will spill into the other two bars next door (Mineshaft & Average Joe’s) all day on Saturday.

HOTELS

If you are going to Indianapolis and NOT going with the WNST bus, I’d highly recommend two areas – both on the north side of the city – for hotels: Anywhere south of Carmel and in the Castleton area is a good spot if you’re planning on attending our purple parties.

There are also a bunch of rooms out on the southwest side of town near the Indianapolis Airport, but they’re a long way from downtown and even further from our parties. (And let’s be honest, none of us are going to be staying in Indy for more than a day or two, so I’m trying to be efficient in getting everyone into one spot and having an awesome time.)

GAME TICKETS

Tickets are about $125 and readily available. The Colts fans and the fans of Indianapolis suck, for the most part, and they have over 4,000 tickets on the web right now ready for purchase. The Colts fans aren’t that excited about this team right or none of these tickets would be so readily available.

Game tickets – if you have a little bit of money – will not be an issue in Indianapolis, unless 12,000 of us show up this weekend. That said, get your tickets early or just get on our roadtrip and it’s all taken care of for you.

And given the 10-hour drive and the non-existent airline availability, this is highly unlikely.

Here are some links to some of our parties in the past:

Last year in Nashville…

Last year in Pittsburgh…

We also just put up the video of what our trips looked like this weekend in New England.

We had a really successful party in Providence and would love to see a “Nashville-style” celebration in Indy this weekend.

We hope to see you in Indianapolis on Friday night at Rock Lobster.

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