COLLEGE PARK, Md. – National Player of the Year candidate Alyssa Thomas scored 22 points with seven rebounds to help No. 9 Maryland handle Clemson, 95-43, Sunday afternoon in the Terrapins’ annual Play 4 Kay pink game for breast cancer awareness.
Thomas is just 129 points from breaking Crystal Langhorne’s school scoring record of 2,247 career points. The senior scored in double figures for the 22nd straight game. Freshmen Brionna Jones added 14 points with seven boards, three steals and two blocks in her 21 minutes on the floor. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 11 points.
Maryland (19-4, 7-3 ACC) picked up its third straight win on the year and 14th straight over Clemson (11-14, 3-8). The Terrapins led 39-23 at the break, then used a dominant second half to cruise to the win. Maryland outscored Clemson 56-20 in the second period alone.
“Another dominant performance and anytime you look at a stat sheet, 29 assists on 39 makes, I really liked how we shared the basketball today as a team,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “I thought the second half we just got stronger and stronger. You saw once we were able to get stops that led to our transition to really easy plays. Just really like our energy and how we played for each other today.”
Nikki Dixon led Clemson with 13 points and Chancie Dunn added 10. The Tigers have lost six of eight, all within the conference.
The Terrapins opened with a 16-2 run and extended the margin to 21 points late in the first half. Clemson trailed 4-2 before the Terrapins rattled off 12 straight points. Over the first seven minutes, the Tigers missed five of six shots and committed four turnovers.
A 3-pointer by Katie Rutan and a layup by Jones made it 23-6 before Dunn sank two straight jump shots. Dunn scored eight of Clemson's first 10 points, but it became apparent quickly that the Tigers were decidedly overmatched.
After Clemson closed to 23-12, Thomas made three baskets in a 10-0 spurt that built the margin to 21 points. At that point, Thomas outscored the Tigers 15-12.
With Thomas on the bench, Clemson closed to 39-23 at halftime. But Jones opened the second half with two straight layups, and after Dixon scored, a 3-pointer by Rutan made it 46-25.
The Terrapins are ranked No. 10 in the latest Associated Press and No. 9 in the USA Today Coaches poll.
After Sunday’s game, the Terrapins will head south to take on Miami (12-10, 4-5) Thursday at 7 p.m. The Terps-Hurricanes game can be heard on the Maryland Sports Radio Network online at umterps.com and on 1300 AM (Baltimore) and 570 AM (DC). Live stats will be available through umterps.com and live updates will be at http://twitter.com/umdwbb.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.