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Maryland no match for UConn

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Maryland no match for UConn

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- UConn senior Kelly Faris' strong play doesn't always show up on the stat sheet. It was hard to miss her Monday night.

Faris had eight points, eight steals, seven rebounds and seven assists in No. 2 Connecticut's 63-48 victory over No. 9 Maryland in the Jimmy V Classic.

"I said it 100 times, I'm always amazed that none of the Big East coaches vote her for anything," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "They are stuck with the guys they have and we have the record we have because of her. Someone can dominate a game and take six shots. Kelly completely dominated the game. She has an impact that goes beyond the stat sheet. When you look at the stat sheet there's a whole bunch of stuff there, her impact is greater than that."

Stefanie Dolson scored 14 points and Breanna Stewart added 13 to lead the Huskies (7-0).

"She is by far our toughest player," Dolson said of Faris. "She does everything on the floor. Even if she doesn't get credit for a steal she most likely tipped the ball to make the play."

Trailing by 13 at halftime, Maryland whittled its deficit down to seven before UConn scored eight straight points, including a 3-pointer by Brianna Banks and a three-point play by Bria Hartley. Kiah Stokes capped the run with a lay-in midway through the second half. Faris had a hand in all eight points during the run with an assist, steal and rebound.

"Faris makes play after play," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. "She's so tough and physical.

"That was a tough sequence. Banks was spectacular. That's what Connecticut does. They give you that knockout punch and you see teams never recover. I love the fact we were able to withstand a lot of those runs and were able to keep competing."

Maryland, which had a season-high 26 turnovers, couldn't get within single digits the rest of the way.

Tianna Hawkins scored 14 points and freshman Chloe Pavlech added a season-high 10 to lead the Terrapins (4-2), who have come the closest to UConn this season. No team had been within 30 points before Monday.

The Terrapins were playing without guards Laurin Mincy and Brene Moseley. Both suffered ACL injuries this season. Mincy tore the ACL in her right knee early in the second half of Maryland's win over Nebraska last Wednesday. Moseley injured her left knee on Oct. 21. Moseley was the third ACL injury for the Terps this season. Senior center Essence Townsend tore hers in an exhibition game in early October.

Without the guards, Maryland couldn't take care of the basketball. The Terps came into the game averaging only 16 turnovers a contest.

"That was one of the things I told our team in the locker room," Frese said. "I was most disappointed in how much we turned the ball over. A lot came in our press break."

UConn couldn't take advantage early of the miscues. Leading 17-8, Maryland scored seven straight points to make it a two-point game. Stewart finally ended a 5-minute drought scoring seven straight points during a 10-0 run by the Huskies. She started it with a 3-pointer and connected on a falling down layup, following up her own miss. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis capped the burst with a 3-pointer that made it 27-15. The Huskies led 33-20 at halftime.

Mosqueda-Lewis didn't return for the second half after bruising a left quad. She missed the Huskies' previous game against Colgate after suffering a concussion against Purdue on Nov. 24.

Auriemma said his sophomore guard is "doubtful" for Thursday's game against No. 10 Penn State.

Monday's game had special meaning for Frese, whose 4-year-old son Tyler continues to battle leukemia.

"It means a lot," Frese said. "Obviously, there was no question when we got the invite that we knew we wanted to play in it. And, obviously, for me personally with my son, Tyler, going through leukemia and with his diagnosis and his treatment I think it just helps us to be able to with a national audience and on TV to bring even more awareness to all the people out there that are battling cancer. And, obviously, our family is one that's directly impacted, but the fact that we can play a game and bring exposure is really important and we're just really fortunate to be a part of it."

The teams will play again in the Jimmy V Classic next season at Maryland. This was the first meeting between the programs. UConn continued its domination of ACC opponents, winning its 20th straight over ACC teams, winning by an average of 28.0 points. 

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Tony Dungy weighs in on the alleged toxic culture within the University of Maryland football team

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USA TODAY Sports

Tony Dungy weighs in on the alleged toxic culture within the University of Maryland football team

Tony Dungy is about as cool, calm and collected as a person can get. And when it comes to his coaching style, it's exactly the same.

Fourteen years in the NFL spent as a defensive coordinator/coach and 13 years as a head coach earned Dungy a Super Bowl Championship with the Indianapolis Colts. He posted an overall record of 148-79 with the foundation that cursing and raising your voice wasn't necessary for success. 

The culture and coaching style of the University of Maryland football team is now under a microscope with the on-going investigation regarding the death of 19-year-old offensive lineman Jordan McNair. The university has taken responsibility for McNair's death after an ESPN article brought to light the abuse and "toxic culture" within the team, and what ultimately led up to McNair's passing under their supervision on May 29. 

It has also brought into question how high-level football teams are coached and if it's all just a part of the football culture. On Thursday, Dungy weighed in on the matter on 106.7 The Fan's Sports Junkies, simulcasted on NBC Sports Washington.

"Well first, I hope we don't just read into well, here was the culture, here's what the coach was doing so that's why this young man died," Dungy said.

Dungy recounted a scenario during his coaching career with the Colts where a player had an underlying condition that almost caused him to lose his life during a practice.

"You can't equate well, this happened because," Dungy went on to say. 

What Dungy does want people to understand is that the tough love, scream-in-your-face type of coaching style is not the stereotype coaches must adhere to. 

"But I do think we are a victim of caricatures. That we think that's the way it has to be."

"One of the last interviews I had before I got my head [coaching] job in Tampa, I was explaining to this owner how I was going to do things. He had heard about my reputation. He said 'I know you don't use profanity. You rarely raise your voice. How are you going to motivate these guys? How are you going to discipline? How are you going to keep guys in line?' And I said the same way my father kept me in line. By saying here's the rules and here's what we're going to do. I'm going to be like that with my players. And the guy looked at me square in the eyes and said 'impossible, that will never work in the NFL.'" 

Well, it did work for Dungy as his tenure spent as a coach in the NFL earned him enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016. 

Dungy noted in his interview with the Sports Junkies that the different personalities of coaches in the league highlighted in shows like HBO's Hard Knocks do not represent each and every coach. He mentions Jim Caldwell and Bill Belichick as successful coaches who are more mild-mannered like Dungy.

"And there's a thousand ways that work," Dungy said about coaching. "And you got to be true to your personality and everything. But the two coaches that I played for in the NFL – who won seven Super Bowls between them and were tremendous coaches, Hall of Famers – there was none of that. There was instruction, teaching, motivating, building you up and getting you ready to play, and so that's what I followed." 

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Maryland's strength and conditioning coach Rick Court resigns after the death of Jordan McNair

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Maryland's strength and conditioning coach Rick Court resigns after the death of Jordan McNair

On Tuesday during a press conference, the University of Maryland announced the removal of head strength and conditioning coach Rick Court.

This announcement comes in the wake of disturbing details leading up to, and including, the death of football player Jordan McNair.

It was also revealed that head football coach D.J. Durkin remains on administrative leave according to athletic director Damon Evans.  

Prior to this announcement, Court resigned and reached a settlement with the university.

During the press conference, university president Wallace Loh also stated that the university would take responsibility for McNair's death.

"The university accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that our training staff made on that fateful workout day of May 29, which of course led subsequently to his death," Loh said.

"Some of the actions of our athletic training staff, not the coaching staff, the athletic training staff, they basically misdiagnosed the situation. No vital signs were taken, other safeguard actions that should have been taken were not.”

McNair's died as the result of a heat stroke that occurred during the aforementioned workout. Collapsing on the field due to exhaustion, the 19-year-old suffered a seizure and the authorities were not contacted for nearly an hour. McNair would pass two weeks later.

Not much information on the internal investigation was released by the school up until the latest report from ESPN this past Friday. In this report, ESPN detailed a “toxic culture” that ultimately led to the death of the young football player. Court was at the center of these remarks and was given a lot of the blame for what happened.

After the allegations on Friday, Maryland put Durkin on leave due to "allegations of inappropriate behavior" along with other staffers that included Court. 

Matt Canada is currently the interim head coach of the Terps in his first season with the team. Canada was named Durkin's offensive coordinator this season after being fired from the same position at LSU. 

Maryland kicks off their football season in less than three weeks, hosting Texas on September 1. 

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