Thomas’ triple double lifts Maryland to 90-40 winSaturday, Dec 8, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP)—Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas was encouraged by her teammates late in the game Saturday against George Mason to score just one more point so she could enter the Terrapins’ record book.
Thomas got the opportunity with 5:29 remaining when a layup allowed her to secure the second triple double in team history.
Thomas finished with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists to lead No. 9 Maryland to a 90-40 victory.
She became the first Terrapin to get a triple double since Marissa Coleman in 2006.
Tianna Hawkins, the ACC’s leading scorer, scored 16 of her 27 points in the first half. Malina Howard and Tierney Pfirman each scored 11 points and Alicia DeVaughn had 10 for the Terrapins (6-2), who are the defending ACC champions.
“It was a huge honor but none of it would be possible without my teammates getting out in transition and finding them down the floor,” Thomas said. “That’s what so great about our team because we are excited for each other’s success. They wanted me to get it in the worst away. It took a long time, but they were really excited for me.”
Rahneeka Saunders scored 13 points and Kyana Jacobs had 10 for George Mason (4-4).
Maryland, which leads the nation in rebounding margin, continued to control the paint and outrebounded the Patriots 50-24.
The Terps shot 55.6 percent (35 of 53) from the field.
“It was a dominating win from start to finish,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “I really liked our second half where we not satisfied, We really locked in defensively and shared the basketball.”
A free throw by Hawkins capped an 18-0 run by Maryland to open the game. George Mason did not manage any points until Janaa Pickard made a 3-pointer with 12:32 left in the first half.
Maryland used its considerable height advantage to continue to pull away. A pair of free throws by Hawkins in the closing seconds provided a 43-20 lead at the break. The Terps scored 15 points off 16 George Mason turnovers in the first half.
“I just came out with a lot of energy, knowing my teammates feed off my energy,” Hawkins said. “I know I have to do that every night.”
The second half was not much better for the Patriots as Hawkins scored 10 more points during a 17-3 run and Maryland increased the lead to 62-24 with 14 minutes remaining.
By that time, the focus was trying to get Thomas in the record books.
“That doesn’t happen, obviously, without great teammates looking for each other,” Frese said. “I thought when we came out, you saw our firepower defensively.”
The Terps improved to 6-0 all-time against George Mason, which is located about 30-35 miles from Maryland’s campus in Fairfax, Va.