No. 6 Maryland women beat UVa 70-58 in ACCsBy JOEDY McCREARY, AP Sports Writer Friday, Mar 2, 2012
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP)—Alyssa Thomas and No. 6 Maryland didn’t waste any time restoring order to an upset-heavy Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Thomas scored 18 points and the Terrapins beat Virginia 70-58 on Friday night in the quarterfinals.
Brene Moseley added 13 points and Tianna Hawkins had 10 rebounds for third-seeded Maryland (26-4), the highest-seeded team left after No. 5 Duke and No. 7 Miami were eliminated earlier in the day.
“We took a lot of examples from the first three games that were played and understood that, in tournament time, nothing’s guaranteed,” coach Brenda Frese said. “You have to go out and earn it.”
The Terps led by 26, shot 48 percent, built a 48-23 rebounding advantage, and cruised to their fifth straight win. They advanced to a semifinal matchup Saturday against seventh-seeded Wake Forest.
Ariana Moorer scored 19 points and Lexie Gerson had 16 for sixth-seeded Virginia (22-10), which had its four-game winning streak snapped and was denied its first semifinal appearance since 2008. The Cavaliers closed the game on a 20-6 run against the Terps’ reserves.
“They’re very deserving of their top-five ranking,” first-year Virginia coach Joanne Boyle said. “I’m just disappointed that we did not give them a better game.”
Playing for the first time since she was named the ACC’s player of the year, Thomas had her third straight game with at least 18 points. Moseley hit three 3-pointers for Maryland, which was 7 of 10 from beyond the arc and reached the semifinals for the first time since the 2009 team went on to claim the program’s ninth ACC championship.
“When they pack it inside, it opens a lot on the perimeter,” Moseley said. “So, I had an opportunity to knock down some shots tonight.”
The Terps, who won both regular-season meetings with Virginia by an average of 12 points, capped an upset-filled day at the Greensboro Coliseum with the kind of one-sided win that was expected of a top-10 mainstay.
Despite turning it over a season-high 24 times, they trailed for all of 16 seconds of this one and erased that brief deficit by reeling off 14 straight points to give themselves a comfortable working margin.
“It absolutely was great to be able to come out and set the tone early,” Frese said. “You never know how a team is going to react the first time on the floor. Sometimes you’ve got to get those jitters (out).”
Thomas started their 14-0 burst with a layup that put Maryland up 10-9, and added a jumper in the lane before Anjale Barrett’s 3 from the corner made it 22-9 with just under 10 minutes left before the break.
Maryland then put together an 11-0 run during the final 4 minutes of the half, with Laurin Mincy’s free throw making it a 20-point game for the first time and Hawkins’ layup in traffic making it 40-18 with 20 seconds left before the break.
Moorer gave the Cavaliers their only lead when she hit a 3-pointer 5 1/2 minutes in to make it 9-8. Virginia managed just one field goal during the 9 minutes that followed while Maryland first reclaimed its lead, then stretched it well into double figures.
“They’re just a really physical team, and I don’t think we matched that,” Boyle said. “Obviously, tonight, we just did not match their physicality.”