COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The eighth-ranked Maryland women’s basketball team used a total team effort to cruise past Delaware State, 93-44, Saturday night in the Terrapins’ final game before the exam and holiday break.
National Player of the Year candidate Alyssa Thomas picked up her 10th straight double-double in 11 games this year and 48th of her career. She finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, after ending the first period with just four points.
Freshman Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added 13 points, freshman Lexie Brown had 11 and sophomore Malina Howard added 10, all in the second half. Freshman Brionna Jones added a career-high 11 boards to lead the Terps’ dominance on the glass at 64-33.
““I really liked how we continued to get better, especially in the second half,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “We really shared the basketball and I thought you could really see our defensive intensity pick up. I thought we were really unselfish with the basketball and we went running out in transition and really making the easy plays for one another. A nice test for us as we shut it down for finals and the holidays. To be able to see a box score like this when everyone comes in and plays and contributes was really nice to see.”
Thomas was on the bench after picking up a pair of early fouls when Maryland (10-1) finished the first half on a 21-6 run, extending a 24-16 lead. Seven different Terrapins scored during the burst, led by five points from sophomore Tierney Pfirman.
Raven Bankston led Delaware State (3-5) with 22 points. The Hornets shot only 24 percent (15 for 62) from the field.
The Terrapins scored 22 points off 18 Hornet turnovers and beat them inside, 52-18. The Terps’ bench of seven outscored the Hornets’ bench 47-8.
Maryland's edge in size, speed and depth was no match for the Hornets' patient offensive attack early on. The Terrapins led 45-22 at halftime, ending the opening 20 minutes on a 21-6 run and holding Delaware State without a field goal after Bankston's left-side bank shot with 6:00 left in the first half.
The Terrapins played most of the first half without leading scorer Thomas, who picked up her second personal foul three minutes into the game while fighting for a loose ball on the Delaware State baseline and sat on the bench for the remainder of the half. But Delaware State couldn't capitalize on her absence as Maryland flexed its muscle on defense and scored in waves.
The Terrapins are ranked No. 8 in the latest Associated Press and USA Today National Coaches polls.
Next, the Terrapins will take time off for exams and the holidays before they host the annual Terrapin Classic Dec. 28-29 at Comcast Center. Wofford, Howard and College of Charleston will all come to College Park.
Maryland will play Wofford on Dec. 28 at noon with Howard and College of Charleston playing at 2:30 p.m. For $20, fans can get two general admission tickets, two hot dogs and two medium sodas for Saturday’s games. On Dec. 29, Maryland will play either Howard or College of Charleston at approximately 1:30 p.m., or 30 minutes after the other two schools play at 11 a.m.
For tickets to the Terrapin Classic, log on to umterps.com or call 1-800-IM-A-TERP. The Terps’ games can be watched on umterps.com for a fee and live updates will be available at https://twitter.com/umdwbb. Live stats will be available for all four games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.