COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Alyssa Thomas did her part, as expected, in helping No. 6 Maryland roll to its 13th consecutive victory, but an important deciding factor was the contributions from the Terrapins’ bench, especially freshman Brionna Jones.
Thomas had 19 points and 11 rebounds for her 14th double-double of the season, and Maryland (15-1, 3-0 ACC) received 44 points from its reserves, including a career-high 18 by Jones, who added 10 rebounds for her first career double-double.
"When you talk about what Brionna has been doing from day one, and all the extra workouts to prepare her for conference play, she was a huge difference-maker for us," coach Brenda Frese said. "It makes us a different team, to be able to have the presence that we got from Bri tonight."
After a 19-point lead was cut to 10 early in the second half, Maryland used a 13-3 run over the next three minutes to go up 61-41. Jones scored eight points in the surge and Thomas contributed two baskets and a free throw.
Jones' previous career high in points was 11. In only 20 minutes of playing time, Jones went 6 for 10 from the floor and made six of seven free throws.
Brianna Butler scored 14 and Alexis Peterson had 12 for Syracuse, which lost for the fourth time in five games. The Orange (12-5, 1-3) got only nine points from leading scorer Brittney Sykes, who came in averaging 17.6 per game.
Syracuse came in leading the ACC with a turnover margin of plus-6.4, but the Orange committed 21 turnovers in this one and forced only nine.
It was the first meeting between the teams since 1984. Maryland is 3-0 against Syracuse, playing its first season in the ACC.
The Terrapins forced 13 turnovers and got 24 points from their bench in grabbing a 42-28 halftime lead.
Playing for the first time in a week, Maryland missed 10 of its first 11 shots. But Syracuse failed to take advantage, and the Terrapins went ahead for good when four different players scored in a 10-0 run that made it 18-12.
Following its 1-for-11 start from the floor, Maryland made 13 of its next 17 attempts. Brene Moseley capped the torrid shooting spree with a jumper that put the Terrapins up 31-17.
The Terrapins are ranked No. 6 in the latest Associated Press and in the USA Today Coaches polls.
Next, Maryland will host Georgia Tech (12-5, 2-2) Sunday at 2 p.m. as part of Mascot Day. Mascots from local teams will be on the concourse to join Testudo in welcoming fans. For tickets, log on to the Terrapin Ticket Office online at umterps.com or call 1-800-IM-A-TERP.
The Terps-Yellow Jackets game will be shown live online for a fee through TerpsTV Premium.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.