Dec. 29, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Four players scored in double figures and two notched double-doubles to help No. 9 Maryland cruise to a 72-40 victory over Hartford on Saturday in the championship game of the Terrapin Classic.
Alyssa Thomas led with 22 points, 11 rebounds, Tianna Hawkins scored 16 points, and Alicia DeVaughn added 13 points and 13 rebounds for Maryland (10-2), which has won six straight games. Tierney Pfirman scored 11. The Terrapins improved to 96-5 in non-conference games at Comcast Center.
Once Maryland's offense got in gear, Hartford had trouble keeping pace. "When we're in that kind of flow, we don't even worry about making mistakes or turning the ball over," Thomas said. "We're just going out there and having fun and playing for each other."
Terrapins coach Brenda Frese got an impressive effort she hopes will be a springboard into a tough Atlantic Coast Conference schedule. Maryland played its last non-conference game before the first of 17 straight ACC games beginning Jan. 3 at North Carolina.
"It was definitely a much more dominating performance today from start to finish," Frese said. "I thought we came out with great defensive intensity, which really led to unselfish play on the offensive end -- just the way we shared the basketball, the way we dominated the glass and were able to mix it up defensively between our man and our zone."
Daphne Elliott had nine points for Hartford (9-4) in the first meeting between the schools since December 1997. The Hawks, who had won three of four overall, are 0-2 all-time against Maryland.
Hartford wasn't prepared early for Maryland's aggressive transition game and let the Terrapins go on a big run to open the second half. The Hawks shot 16 for 59 (27 percent) in the game, misfiring on 18 of 22 3-point tries.
"I don't think the reality of how quickly they get up and down the floor sets in until you're actually out there with them," Hartford coach Jennifer Rizzotti said. "They just kind of ran us out of the gym in those two spurts."
Maryland's early plan of clogging the middle and forcing the Hawks into low-percentage perimeter shots worked. Hartford started 7 for 20 from the field.
"You can't let a team like that get so many opportunities," Rizzotti said. "They're athletic, they're determined to make their life easier and get easy shots. ... For us, there's no room for error, no margin. We can't make any mistakes."
Tierney Pfirman's three-point play 4:08 into the game ignited a 17-6 run that gave Maryland a 30-13 cushion with 8:09 remaining in the first half.
Hawkins had eight points in the run, reaching 1,200 for her career. In the middle of the run, she blocked Christie Michael's shot from the foul line, collected the rebound and scored on a transition layup, becoming the sixth player in Maryland history with 100 career blocks. Terrapins took control en route to a 41-24 halftime lead.
The Terrapins scored the first 10 points of the second half to increase their lead to 51-24, with Taylor getting six points, as Hartford missed its first seven shots to open the final 20 minutes.
Maryland, the nation's top rebounding team, dominated the glass, 50-28, and outscored the Hawks in the paint by 18.
Freshman Chloe Pavlech finished with six assists and one turnover. As a team, the Terrapins had a season-low nine turnovers for the second time this season.
Hawkins was named Tournament MVP. She finished the two games with 36 points, 16 rebounds and was 15-for-21 (.714) from the floor. Thomas, DeVaughn, Hartford's Daphne Elliott, and Brown's Sheila Dixon were named to the All-Tournament Team.
Next, the Terrapins will play at No. 16 North Carolina (12-1) Thursday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. The game will be shown live online on ESPN3.com and broadcast on the Terrapin Sports Radio Network. It can be heard on AM 1300 and AM 570, as well as online for a fee on UMTerps.com.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.