Baltimore Sun’s BEST party in 2 weeks

SRO basketball

THE BALTIMORE EVENING SUN

The traffic jam and the ticket scalpers outside Cole Field House in College Park last Tuesday night were only to be expected when a game features the country's No. 1 and No. 2 teams -- except for one thing: These were the top women's teams.

No. 1 Maryland lost to second-ranked Virginia as a last-second shot missed the basket. But the Terps' slim defeat took back seat to the fact that a standing-room-only crowd of 14,500 jammed into Cole to see women playing good, exciting basketball. The evening was a tribute to Chris Weller, who in her 17 years as coach has built a strong women's program despite the years when a big crowd might mean a couple of hundred spectators.

Women's basketball has had its ups and downs, but last week's sell-out crowd -- the fourth-largest regular-season audience in women's basketball history and the biggest in ACC women's history -- shows that, given half a chance, women's sports can have a bright future.

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