Maryland coach Chris Weller had just watched her team lose a one-point game and, in all probability, the No.
Yet, she was smiling as she grabbed the microphone to address the sellout crowd at Cole Field House, moments after second-ranked Virginia had beaten the Terrapins 75-74 on Tuesday night.
"I want to thank you all for coming and making this a historical night," she said. "Please come back."
Women's basketball got a showcase game Tuesday. Heather Burge had 24 points and 17 rebounds to help the Cavaliers avenge their only loss of the season, but perhaps the biggest number was the attendance: an Atlantic Coast Conference women's record 14,500.
Maryland's previous largest crowd was 3,414, in December 1989, and the team's total attendance last year was 11,385.
"It's so unusual. I don't know exactly how to say how I feel," said Virginia coach Debbie Ryan. "It was so exciting, and so neat, to be a part of it."
Dawn Staley scored 19 points for Virginia, which has won eight straight since a 67-65 loss to the Terrapins. The Cavaliers (21-1, 11-1 ACC) blew a nine-point second-half lead before holding on to snap Maryland's 11-game winning streak.
The Terrapins (20-2, 10-1) twice had a chance to take the lead in the closing seconds. First, Virginia's Dena Evans blocked a shot by Limor Mizrachi with 16 seconds left. Then, after Staley missed the front end of a 1-and-1, Maryland's Jessie Hicks shot an airball on a tough shot from the baseline off an inbounds pass.