Thomas, No. 9 Maryland women defeat Miami, 67-52Thursday, Feb 13, 2014
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP)—Maryland’s seniors got their first win in Miami.
Alyssa Thomas scored 18 points and the No. 9 Terrapins beat the Hurricanes 67-52 Thursday night to remain fourth in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings.
The Terrapins (20-4, 8-3 ACC) started the game on a 10-0 run and never trailed in their first win at Miami since 2009. The Hurricanes had home victories against Maryland the past two seasons.
“Us seniors we’ve never gotten a win down here,” said Thomas, who also had 12 rebounds for her 19th double-double of the season. “That was a big focal point for us today—to come in and just give it our best.”
The Terrapins increased a nine-point lead at halftime to 48-31 after Thomas’ short jumper 3:38 into the second half.
Brionna Jones’ layup with 12:53 remaining gave Maryland its first 20-point lead at 51-31. Jones finished with 11 points and Tierney Pfirman was Maryland’s third double-figure scorer with 10 points.
“I thought it was a pretty complete game for us,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “We just did a tremendous job communicating on the floor.”
The Terrapins held the Hurricanes (12-12, 4-7) scoreless for a stretch of 7:42 in the second half until Sureya McGuire’s short jumper with 11:36 left.
Adrienne Motley scored 12 points for the Hurricanes, who have lost five of the last six.
The Terrapins had a height advantage up front and outrebounded Miami 48-30 overall, 25-7 on the offensive end.
“They gave us a rebounding clinic, it was unbelievable,” Miami coach Katie Meier said. “When they missed a shot it was like an assist. Their missed shot was a layup. We have to get some bigger bodies to combat a team with that much length.”
Maryland’s senior starting center Alicia DeVaughn, from neighboring West Palm Beach, had nine points and 11 rebounds, all in the second half.
“I loved how we dominated the glass,” Frese said. “I thought we were able to use our size inside to our advantage.”
Maryland squandered an early 10-point lead but outscored Miami 15-6 in the final 4:55 of the first half. Malina Howard’s layup with 3 seconds remaining gave the Terrapins a 36-27 lead at halftime.
The Hurricanes rallied from the double-digit deficit and tied it at 21-21 on Maria Brown’s 3-point play with 6:35 remaining in the first half.
Thomas’ two free throws with 4:55 remaining broke the tie and put Maryland ahead for good.
Jones’ three field goals powered the Terrapins to their 10 unanswered points in the first 5:15. Thomas also hit two short jumpers during Maryland’s early surge.
“It’s all about being poised,” Thomas said. “We knew coming in and did what we do we would win this game. We came in from the start and just punched them in the mouth.”
Maryland began a stretch of conference games in which four out of five are on the road.
“Each game we’re building a lot of confidence,” Frese said. “The schedule doesn’t get any easier. You just have to continue grinding and try to get better.”