Hot Shooting Terps Down Wolfpack, 87-66
Feb. 5, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Maryland's shooting was so uncannily accurate, it looked like a practice session.
A very good practice session, at that.
With Kristi Toliver leading the way, the 13th-ranked Terrapins shot 70.4 percent in the first half (a season-best for a half) and cruised past North Carolina State 87-66 Thursday night.
Maryland (18-4, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) missed only seven of its first 25 shots from the floor, an astounding 72 percent success rate. Toliver went 4-for-5 in the first half, with all of her attempts coming from beyond the 3-point line.
"We were finding the open teammate. Kristi had the hot hand, so we just found her," forward Marissa Coleman said.
The Terrapins led 48-32 at halftime. Their shooting was so good, the Wolfpack collected only six defensive rebounds in the opening 20 minutes.
"I thought Maryland played really, really well. They had an exceptional shooting night," North Carolina State interim coach Stephanie Glance said. "They have the potential and ability to do that consistently."
Everything the Wolfpack tried didn't work.
"We were changing defenses, we were trying to give them different looks," Glance said. "I'm not sure they shoot 70 percent in their drills in practice with no defense. They were shooting exceptionally well from all places on the floor."
Five players scored in double figures for the Terrapins, who extended their home winning streak to 30. Demauria Liles had 13 points and 11 rebounds, her team-high seventh double-double, and Coleman contributed 14 points to pass Shay Doron and move into third place on the school career scoring list (1,880).
"It was nice to be able to have a team win like that," coach Brenda Frese said.
Shayla Fields scored 24 for the Wolfpack (9-13, 1-6) and Sharnice Beal had 19. North Carolina State made the first basket of the game but never pulled even after the Terrapins went up 6-4.
To honor their longtime coach Kay Yow, who passed away Jan. 24 after a lengthy battle with breast cancer, the Wolfpack wore pink uniforms with the name "Yow" on the back of each jersey. The front of Maryland's uniforms featured a "Yow" patch.
"It's very difficult, and it will continue to be difficult," Glance said. "We're moving forward, but I don't know that we're moving on. We're moving forward because the season requires that of us."
Maryland led 11-10 before Toliver hit two straight 3-pointers to spark an 18-5 run. Toliver added another 3-pointer during the surge, and Marah Strickland also connected from beyond the arc.
N.C. State closed to 50-38 early in the second half, but two free throws by Lynetta Kizer and a 3-pointer by Coleman upped the margin to 17. Minutes later, Strickland hit a 3-pointer and Anjale Barrett connected on a jumper to give Maryland a 73-46 lead with 11:11 remaining.
Following the game, Maryland held a jersey ceremony for former Terrapin Laura Harper. The WNBA first-round selection (Sacramento) was named the 2006 Final Four Most Outstanding Player after leading Maryland to its first national title in school history.
The Terps will be in action again on Monday when they travel to Chestnut Hill, Mass., to take on the Boston College Eagles. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
Additional material contributed to this Associated Press story