COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Two-time ACC Player of the year Alyssa Thomas scored 20 points with 12 rebounds to lead No. 7 Maryland to an 87-48 win over Virginia Tech on Senior Day Sunday. The Terrapins honored their five seniors in Sequoia Austin, Alicia DeVaughn, Katie Rutan, Thomas and Essence Townsend prior to tipoff.
It was Thomas' nation-leading 23rd double-double of the season, coming before a crowd of 7,164 that came largely to honor the five seniors and see the Thomas' No. 25 raised into the rafters after the game.
"I think I tried to hold it in all day I guess," said Thomas, who grew tearful while addressing the crowd after a video montage of the forward's highlights and a speech from coach Brenda Frese. "Everything just came out right there. Just a huge honor to see my name out there, especially with the greats that started all this."
Thomas is second in school history in points (2,234) and rebounds (1,167). She needs 14 points and 64 boards to catch Crystal Langhorne in both categories.
Sophomore Tierney Pfirman picked up her first career double-double with 12 points for Maryland (24-5, 12-4 ACC), which secured the third seed and a double-bye in the upcoming ACC Tournament. Brene Moseley added 13 points for Maryland, which will begin conference tourney play Friday at 8 p.m. in Greensboro, N.C.
Virginia Tech leading scorer Uju Ugkoka, who entered averaging nearly 19 points per game, was held to only three for the Hokies (4-12, 14-15).
Tech shot just 17.6 percent (6 of 34) from the floor in the first half as its win streak ended at three, and will face Clemson in an ACC opening round game Wednesday.
Six players scored in an early 15-0 run to help the Terps open a 20-4 lead. Moseley hit a 3-pointer in that stretch, and Pfirman capped it by converting a three-point play after rebounding her own miss inside.
Tech's Maddison Penn hit a 3 to stop the run after the Hokies missed their first six from beyond the arc. But Maryland's lead still grew to 38-15 by halftime behind eight points each from Thomas and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough.
Maryland stretched its lead to 30 after halftime when Thomas' putback made it 53-23. The Terps' lead grew as large as 79-40 after Alicia DeVaughn's free throws with 5:09 to play, and again to 39 when Moseley hit the game's final basket.
Thomas and her senior teammates departed to a standing ovation with just under two minutes to play.
Thomas' No. 25 is the ninth in program history to be hung in the rafters at Comcast Center.
The Terrapins are ranked No. 9 in the latest Associated Press poll and No. 7 in the USA Today Coaches poll.
Next, Maryland will play Friday at 8 p.m. in the ACC Tournament next weekend in Greensboro, N.C. The Terrapins have clinched a double-bye as the No. 3 seed. The Terps’ opponents, seeding and game time will be available Sunday night. For more on the ACC Tournament, log on to http://www.theacc.com/#!/page/championship_w-baskbl.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.