COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Maryland women’s basketball team, which is ranked No. 6 in the USA Today Preseason Top 25, used a strong run that bridged the halves to beat Holy Family, 99-44, Saturday in its final exhibition match.
Senior Alyssa Thomas led the way for Maryland with 20 points off 9-for-10 shooting from the floor to go with 11 rebounds and a team-high five assists. Freshman Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added 14 points and five boards, while fellow freshman Lexie Brown scored 10.
“It was nice to see some improvements from the last time out, that’s where we always want to get better,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “I saw a lot of great things with some different combinations and how we wanted to play. I thought we were able to really do some really great things on the glass in terms of how we went to the offensive boards. This was just an opportunity to blend a lot of combinations together and I thought we did a good job overall.”
Thomas sunk a jumper on the Terps’ first possession, then senior Alicia DeVaughn converted an old-fashioned three-point play for the lead Maryland would never relinquish.
Holy Family kept it to a single-digit lead, then with 6:25 left in the first, a layup by freshman Brionna Jones jumpstarted an 18-5 run to close the first half. The Terps led 45-23 at the break. Nine Terrapins scored in the run to put Maryland ahead by 22.
Maryland extended its run with a steal and score from Brown in the first 20 seconds of the half. The Terps pushed their lead to 61-28 with just under 14 minutes remaining.
The Terrapins return four of five starters from last year’s squad that led the ACC in rebounding, as the Terps have in each of the last three years. In 2012-13, the Terps finished with a rebounding margin of +13.7, which was second in the country to Liberty. Maryland was No. 3 nationally with its field goal percentage of .471.
Thomas was voted Preseason ACC Player of the Year by both the Blue Ribbon Panel and the league’s 15 head coaches last Wednesday. Brown was named to the Blue Ribbon Panel’s ACC Newcomer Watch List.
In 2012-13, Thomas led the league in points (18.0 per game), rebounds (10.3 per game) and assists (5.3 per game). She is the only player in NCAA or WNBA history to average over 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for a season. Thomas is currently No. 6 on Maryland’s all-time scoring list and needs 557 points to surpass Crystal Langhorne’s record of 2,247 points scored.
Maryland will officially open the season Friday at South Florida with a 7 p.m. game at the Sun Dome in Tampa. Live updates will be available at https://twitter.com/umdwbb and live stats will be available at umterps.com. The game will be streamed live online for a fee through GoUSFBulls.com.
South Florida went 22-11 in 2012-13 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Second Round before falling to Final Four squad California in overtime.
The Terps will welcome Loyola in their home opener Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. After the game, all fans are invited to stay for the Meet the Team event in the arena. The Terrapins will host defending national champion Connecticut Friday, Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. For tickets, log on to UMTerps.com or call 1-800-IM-A-TERP.