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Maryland women return to NCAA tournament, will face Iowa State in first round

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Maryland women return to NCAA tournament, will face Iowa State in first round


The Maryland women’s basketball players started murmuring as they sat inside Xfinity Center on Sunday evening, patiently awaiting their NCAA tournament fate. The minutes ticked away, and team after team was announced, and the Terrapins ended up in the very last pairing named. There was little doubt the Terps would be included — the question was where and against whom?

When Maryland was finally called, a bit of a good fortune came with an upcoming West Coast trip.

Longtime Maryland coach Brenda Frese is in the midst of her most challenging season on the court in more than a decade. Her Terrapins (19-13, 9-9) posted their worst conference record since joining the Big Ten in 2014, and they had their fewest league wins since 2009-10, which was the last time the program didn’t make the tournament.

The program avoided that fate Sunday night, when the selection committee named Maryland the No. 10 seed in the Portland 4 Region, where it will face No. 7 seed Iowa State (20-11, 12-6 Big 12) in a first-round game in Palo Alto, Calif., on Friday. The Terps will face an uphill climb to advance to the tournament’s second weekend for the fourth consecutive year. If they win their opener, they will face either No. 2 seed Stanford or No. 15 seed Norfolk State, with the winner advancing to the Sweet 16.

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The good fortune was the fact Frese spent four years as an assistant at Iowa State (1995-99) under current Cyclones coach Bill Fennelly and has a bit of institutional knowledge on the opponent. She called Fennelly one of her most influential mentors.

“Really kind of what propelled me and my coaching career,” Frese said. “He’s a great X and O coach, so he’s going to individually game plan. He’s one of the best coaches out there when you talk about X’s and O’s. I know their system. I watched them in the Big 12 tournament when they played Texas and those games because I’ve always watched them over the years.”

Though there’s plenty of history between the coaches, this will be the first meeting between the programs. The Cyclones are the fifth-highest scoring team in the Big 12 (74.6 points per game), and their 37.5 percent three-point shooting led the league. Defense is not a strength: Iowa State ranks 12th in the conference in points allowed (68.0).

“The fact that it’s taken 22 years here at Maryland and in my coaching career to finally be able to coach against [Fennelly] is pretty exciting,” Frese said.

This is the first time since 2018 the Terps will not host games on the tournament’s opening weekend, which doesn’t include the pandemic-affected 2021 tournament that was played entirely in San Antonio. That honor is reserved for teams placed on the top four seed lines.

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“Clearly a unique element,” Frese said about going on the road. “But for us, that’s why we played the schedule we played this season. You don’t even blink when you go in and that first matchup is still a neutral court when you’re playing against Iowa State. For us, we feel like the schedule has prepared us.”

Maryland secured its spot in the tournament after it advanced to the Big Ten tournament semifinals with wins over Illinois and No. 1 seed Ohio State. It was considered by bracket analysts to be squarely on the tournament bubble before that run in Minneapolis this month.

Maryland has advanced at least to the second round in 12 consecutive NCAA tournaments and in 18 of the past 19. Frese has missed the tournament just twice since she took over in College Park in 2002, and the winningest coach in program history has never lost in the first round with the Terrapins.

The Terps went 0-8 against ranked teams in the regular season before they upset Ohio State in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals. They closed with a 7-2 stretch with losses to only Ohio State and Indiana. The conference tournament win over Ohio State was the best performance of the season against a team considered Final Four caliber.

“I think the biggest [lesson learned] is just we can compete with anyone,” guard Shyanne Sellers said about the Big Ten tournament. “The Ohio State win, I know we could have done it all along and all season. But just getting that win really right there just proves that we can really compete with anybody.”

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Among other tournament teams from D.C., Maryland and Virginia, Virginia Tech (24-7, 14-4) seemed set up for another deep tournament run after it advanced to the Final Four last season, but a knee injury to three-time ACC player of the year Elizabeth Kitley has severely affected the team. The Hokies were seeded fourth in the Portland 3 Region and will face No. 13 seed Marshall on Friday.

Norfolk State (27-5, 13-1) will head to the tournament after winning the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament for the second year in a row, earning that date with Stanford on Friday.

Richmond (29-5, 16-2) won the Atlantic 10 tournament for the first time. The Spiders earned a No. 10 seed in the Portland 3 Region and will meet No. 7 seed Duke on Friday.



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Maryland

Rural Maryland Council Announces FY 2025 Grant Information Sessions – Conduit Street

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Rural Maryland Council Announces FY 2025 Grant Information Sessions – Conduit Street


The Rural Maryland Council is excited to host five Fiscal Year 2025 grant information sessions this spring.

These information sessions are important opportunities for participants to meet RMC staff and learn about the Council’s two grant programs – the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund (RMPIF) and the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF). See below for upcoming grant information sessions and visit the website for more details

  • Tuesday, April 23, 2024, 12:00pm to 2:00pm in Northeast Maryland – Register Here
  • Thursday, April 25,2024, 12:00pm to 2:00pm in Southern Maryland – Register Here
  • Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 12:00pm to 2:00pm in Western Maryland – Register Here
  • Thursday, May 2, 2024, 12:00pm to 2:00pm in Eastern Maryland – Register Here





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Patuxent River Sailor Commended for Providing Life-Saving Roadside Assistance After Tragic Crash in Hollywood

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Patuxent River Sailor Commended for Providing Life-Saving Roadside Assistance After Tragic Crash in Hollywood


Photo By Chief Petty Officer Patrick Gordon | PATUXENT RIVER, Maryland (April 19, 2024) – Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class Isaiah Mercado of Navy Munitions Command Atlantic Detachment Patuxent River rendered life-saving care to injured motorists following a vehicle collision in Hollywood, Maryland April 7.

Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class Isaiah Mercado is no stranger to high-stress scenarios.

As a Navy armament weapons support equipment technician with Navy Munitions Command Atlantic Detachment Patuxent River (NMCLANT DET Pax) his duties include supporting both air- and surface-launched weapons by performing intermediate level maintenance on both peculiar and common ordnance handling and transportation equipment.

Maintaining the equipment that transports explosive ordnance requires a strong nerve, so it is no surprise that he was able to coolly and calmly act when he came across a vehicle collision shortly after 10 a.m. Sunday, April 7.

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Driving with his wife, Mercado saw the scene of the collision involving a motorcycle and a compact SUV at Three Notch Road and Tom Hodges Drive in Hollywood, Maryland. Realizing he was the first on scene he went into action without a second thought.

“It was just a natural instinct to stop,” recounted Mercado. “As soon as I saw the accident my first thought was to get there as fast as I could and help out the victims.”

Telling his wife to call 911, he assessed the scene and began to check all parties for injuries. Finding the driver of the SUV responsive and able to talk, she asked Mercado to check on her child in the backseat.

“The child was in the back unconscious from the collision,” said Mercado, going through the scenario play-by-play. “I started to ask if she can hear me or move at all. I checked for a pulse and told the mother her daughter was still alive and with a pulse. My next step was to check on the motorcyclist and I was asking if he could hear me and then I tapped him a couple times and got no response.”

Mercado was then joined on the scene by an off-duty St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Deputy, who began to assist with the injured as well, freeing Mercado to check back on the unconscious child in the SUV.

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“My wife handed me the phone since I had a better understanding being in the car and getting a triage done on those involved,” said Mercado. “I told the 911 operator my guess on the age of the two unconscious people and told them I checked for a pulse on the little girl. The off-duty sheriff asked me to help stabilize the girls’ neck and he took over the call to the dispatcher.”

Joined by a third passerby, Mercado enlisted her with helping the driver out of the SUV.

“I told her she needs to get the mom and take her out the car because I didn’t want her to see her child like this,” said Mercado. “After that the first responders came and asked us if we needed a collar for the child’s neck, then went off to get one and our next focus was to get her out of the car.”

Mercado’s initial assessment of the scene made it clear that the SUV’s door buckled in the collision with enough force to roll the SUV’s frame onto the child’s booster seat, making it difficult to remove her from that side of the vehicle.

“I told them I can just carry her out from the car,” said Mercado. “I unbuckled her and then cradled her and scooted out of the car then carried her to the gurney. They then asked for her name, so I went to the mother and asked her for it. After I got it, I proceeded back to the area where they were tending to her and called her by her name to get a response.”

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Tragically, despite the efforts of Mercado and first responders who began CPR, the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman and child were transported by ambulance to St. Mary’s Hospital and flown by Maryland State Police to separate hospitals for further care.

For those who know Mercado, his actions that day speak volumes to his character.

“AO2’s ability to jump into a scene and render aide without a moment’s hesitation is exactly why he’s a trusted leader on our team,” said Senior Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Paul Nelson, Senior Enlisted Advisor for NMCLANT DET Pax. “I have no doubt his speed, cool head, and competent actions prevented further loss of life in a difficult situation, and I am incredibly proud have him as a member of NMCLANT DET Pax.”

NMCLANT DET Pax is responsible for providing Fleet Ordnance Support (FOS) to local customers as well as designated research and development projects in support of test and evaluation of fixed and rotary wing aircraft. DET Patuxent River functions as the principle point of contact for explosive ordnance facility oversight and sustaining stock points assigned; to provide quality and responsive ordnance material handling, technical, material support to the Fleet and other customers in the areas of retail ammunition management; and to manage and operate explosives ordnance facilities at NAS Patuxent River.

Photo By Chief Petty Officer Patrick Gordon | PATUXENT RIVER, Maryland (April 19, 2024) – Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class Isaiah Mercado of Navy Munitions Command Atlantic Detachment Patuxent River rendered life-saving care to injured motorists following a vehicle collision in Hollywood, Maryland April 7.

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Gallery: Nebraska Baseball Run-Rules Maryland

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Gallery: Nebraska Baseball Run-Rules Maryland


Nebraska matched its season scoring high with a 16-4 rout of Maryland in seven innings Sunday in Lincoln. The Huskers improved to 25-12 on the season and 8-4 in Big Ten play. Despite batting in just six innings in the run-rule shortened game, Nebraska registered 16 hits, including three by Tyler Stone, shown in the photo above. | Full recap



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