Laurin Mincy gladly accepted the responsibility of giving the ninth-ranked Maryland women's basketball team a much-needed kick-start Saturday at the Smith Center in Washington. The redshirt senior sparkled in the second half, and her performance allowed the Terps to separate from George Washington, 75-65, in a spirited game between an established national power and a program that's ascending in its rebuild.
Fresh off the school's fourth appearance in the Final Four, Maryland (4-0) got 21 of Mincy's game-high 23 points after the break, including nine during a 17-8 burst for a 48-40 lead with 13:13 remaining. Minutes later, Mincy made a jumper and one of two free throws, and sophomore point guard Lexie Brown swished a 3-pointer for a 59-46 lead.
Colonials coach Jonathan Tsipis immediately called timeout, but George Washington was unable to get the deficit to below double digits the rest of the way in losing to the Terps for the third straight time, and for the fifth time in six meetings all time. GW's only victory in the series came in 1994, when the team was a regular participant in the NCAA tournament.
"First of all, we always appreciate and enjoy playing these local games," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. "It's great for women's basketball, for our fans in the area, and for us I thought it showed in terms of two teams that really know each other really well, are ready to play. I thought we started pretty tentative out of the gate. I thought once we got to halftime and were able to settle down — sensational."
That was particularly the case for Mincy, the fourth player to lead the Terps in scoring this season. There were driving layups off quick first steps, short jumpers on the fast break and acrobatic floaters in the lane with defenders draped on her. The athletic guard shot 7-for-11 overall and made eight of 11 from the free-throw line in the second half, when the Terps shot 60 percent.
The rest of the Maryland starting backcourt of Brown and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough combined to score 30 points. Walker-Kimbrough added a team-high eight rebounds but committed five turnovers. Three of Brown's game-high five steals came in the second half.
Junior forward Jonquel Jones led the Colonials (2-2) with 18 points but missed 10 of 18 shots. She also had 10 rebounds to match a team high.
In the opening stages, GW played as if it belongs in the field of 64, owning the largest lead of the first half at 10-6. At that point, Frese called A'Lexus Harrison (Digital Harbor) off the bench, and the redshirt freshman scored seven of Maryland's next nine points, including a three-point play.
—Gene Wang, The Washington Post
LaRoche leaves Nats to join White Sox
Adam LaRoche, a fixture at first base for the Washington Nationals the past four seasons, agreed to terms Friday with the Chicago White Sox, according to a person familiar with the situation. According to reports, the contract is for two years and worth $25 million. The deal has yet to be announced and is pending a physical Monday. LaRoche's departure via free agency became a certainty when the Nationals declined a $15 million option on him last month. Washington is expected to use Ryan Zimmerman at first base and keep Anthony Rendon at third. LaRoche, 35, a key piece of two National League East title runs, enjoyed one of the finest seasons of his career in 2014, hitting .259 with a team-leading 26 home runs and 92 RBIs while playing solid first base and serving as one of the Nationals' clubhouse leaders. LaRoche won his only Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards during a strong 2012 season, when he hit a career-high 33 home runs with 100 RBIs. LaRoche could not be reached for comment. LaRoche reportedly had interest from the Miami Marlins and San Diego Padres. By signing in Chicago, LaRoche is closer to his hometown of Fort Scott, Kan. He will also form a formidable middle-of-the-order power duo with American League Rookie of the Year and designated hitter-first baseman Jose Abreu.
—James Wagner, The Washington Post
Johns Hopkins women use PKs to reach NCAA Elite 8
Junior Hope Lundberg scored in the 88th minute to tie the game and the Johns Hopkins women's soccer team eventually prevailed, 4-3, in a shootout at sixth-ranked Carnegie Mellon in the NCAA Sweet 16 on Saturday. The 20th-ranked Blue Jays improved to 18-3-2 while the Tartans finished at 16-2-1. Carnegie Mellon scored its only goal 10:24 into the game on a 30-yard blast by Tori Iatarola that eluded junior goaltender Sarah Benett. The Tartans nearly got an insurance goal in the 81st minute, but Megan Bartoshuk's shot hit the crossbar. Hopkins drew even with 2:32 to play when Lundberg settled a ball at the top of the box off an attempted clear before burying a shot in the lower-left corner. Neither team scored in overtime. Freshman Clara Aranguren took over in the net for the Blue Jays in the shootout and made three saves. Benett, who made three saves in 110 minutes, converted Hopkins' final penalty kick. Hopkins outshot Carnegie Mellon 9-7 and had a 5-4 advantage in corners. The Blue Jays advance to the NCAA quarterfinals for the fifth time in six years and will face ninth-ranked Thomas More at 1 p.m. today for the right to move on to Kansas City, Mo.
Women's college field hockey: Salisbury, top-ranked in Division III, lost, 2-1, to No. 3 Bowdoin, in the NCAA semifinals in Lexington, Va. The Polar Bears (19-2) had 19 shots to six for the Sea Gulls (19-2).
Women's college volleyball: Host Coppin State (14-14) lost, 25-17, 22-25, 25-16, 25-19, to Hampton (20-10) in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference semifinals despite a team-high 15 kills and six blocks from Kandace Thomas and a match-high 23 digs from Gabrielle Otero. Chelsee Sauni had a match-high 32 assists.
NHL: The Washington Capitals have reassigned right wing Chris Brown to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League. Brown, 23, appeared in five games with the Capitals this season and scored a goal Oct. 16 against the New Jersey Devils. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound right wing has two goals and one assist in 22 career NHL games with Washington and the Phoenix Coyotes.
Horse racing: Laurel Park will have an 11:05a.m. post time and a nine-race card on Thanksgiving. Free doughnuts with coffee or cider will be available from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Laurel's Terrace Dining Room will feature a home-style Thanksgiving buffet for $28. Friday features free admission to Laurel Park's live program for all men as part of the "Guys Day Out" promotion, which includes half-price domestic drafts and concession specials. Drawings feature tickets to the Preakness on May 16, Ravens tickets and ski lift tickets. There will also be live racing cards Wednesday and Saturday. First post on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday is 12:35 p.m.
Minor league basketball: Cameron Cook (Calvert Hall, Hood) scored 21 points in defeat as the host Bay Area Shuckers (1-3) lost, 109-92, to the D.C. Drew All-Stars (1-1).
Soccer: The Bohemians Soccer Club, a Premier Development League team, will host open tryouts Dec. 6 at Poly from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The tryouts will be overseen by coach Santino Quaranta and his staff. Each player will receive a Bohemians T-shirt as part of his registration fee. Tryouts will consist of drills and scrimmages. For registration and information, go to baltimorebohemians.com.