The ACC’s back-to-back Player of the Year, Alyssa Thomas, will be linking with SLAMonline throughout the season, as her eighth-ranked Maryland Terrapins aim to reach the Final Four.—Ed.
by Alyssa Thomas / @athomas_25
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We went to Puerto Rico as a team to play in the San Juan Shootout. We got some free time on Thanksgiving Day and we had our choice of going to the beach or going zip lining. Most of us went to the beach and jet skied. We had so much fun just enjoying our downtime.
It was fun playing in a different environment. The gym was not at all what we are used to. The locker rooms were small, the arena was small, and it was not as elaborate as we typically see. It was also really great to come out with two wins.
We’ve had some close games already this year, but the best part is that we’ve all made plays when we’ve needed to. On Wednesday vs Ohio State, they cut it to three late and we never panicked, just kept making plays on both ends, even though it wasn’t our best shooting night. Lexie [Brown] hit a big three to hold them off and Tierney [Pfirman] had her career-high 10 rebounds.
A cool thing about that win over Ohio State is that we are the only team in the Big Ten or ACC to be undefeated in the Challenge. We’ve had some pretty fun games in the Challenge in my four years. Freshman year, we won by one point at Purdue after being down eight in the second half. Sophomore year we beat Michigan at home, and last year we won at Nebraska in front of a full house. Those are the type of environments we love.
We have a few games before finals and our six days off to go home for Christmas. It will be so nice to take some time apart and chill with our families. Right after New Year’s, we open at North Carolina, so we’ll jump right into the full swing of conference play.