Maryland Women Win Sixth Straight Thursday at Georgia Tech
Feb. 19, 2009
ATLANTA - Freshman center Lynetta Kizer did a little bit of everything on Thursday, scoring a career-best 22 points and adding 10 rebounds to help lead the No. 9/7 University of Maryland women's basketball team to its sixth straight win, 87-79, over Georgia Tech at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
Kizer, the Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Rookie of the Year, went 9-for-12 from the floor and recorded a career - and team season-high five steals with three blocks (t-career-high) and two assists. Terrapin senior Marissa Coleman provided another electric performance, scoring a game-high 23 points with eight rebounds and a season-high seven assists.
Coleman went a perfect 11-for-11 from the free-throw line - her career-high fourth straight game with at least 10 free throw attempts. Sophomore guard Marah Strickland netted 15 points, a personal-best in conference play this season, going 4-for-7 from 3-point range.
Maryland (22-4, 9-2 ACC) shot 52.7 percent from the floor and, against the league's top scoring defense, netted 87 points - the most points the Yellow Jackets (18-8, 5-6) allowed all season.
The Terps seized a double-digit lead shortly after halftime and blew the game open with a 23-point lead and 8:02 on the clock. Georgia Tech, however, cut its deficit to nine points with just under two minutes left. Maryland tightened its defense the rest of the way and Coleman and freshman Anjale Barrett went 4-for-4 from the line down the stretch to close out the contest.
"We knew how tough a place Georgia Tech is to play," Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said. "We lost a little bit of intensity (after getting a 23-point lead) and that's definitely an area we need to improve on. But credit Georgia Tech; no team in the ACC is going to quit and they certainly fought back.
"We're happy to get a win and keep our momentum going in conference play."
Georgia Tech's Alex Montgomery scored a team-high 19 points with six assists. She went 5-of-9 from 3-point range while Deja Foster sank 1-of-2 from distance and added 17 points with nine rebounds.
Kizer was dominant early, scoring the Terps' first eight points of the game. The contest was tight throughout the opening stages, until Strickland nailed a 3-pointer to give the Terps a 19-12 advantage.
Georgia Tech would tie the game at 22-22 midway through the first half, but Maryland responded with nine unanswered points and a 13-1 run overall. Point guard Kristi Toliver's transition ability and deft passing sparked the run, as she fed Kizer and Demauria Liles for close-range buckets then shook a defender at the top of the key for a trey and a nine-point Terrapin edge.
Maryland claimed its largest lead of the opening 20 minutes, 35-23, on a Coleman field goal. The Yellow Jackets crept to within four points on a Jacqua Williams 3-pointer, but Kizer and Coleman netted the Terps' last eight points of the half to enter intermission up 45-37.
Kizer went 7-for-8 in the first half for 17 points, just one point shy of her previous career-high, to help the Terps to a 60.7 percent clip in the first half. Her scoring output in the first half also tied her previous ACC-high point total for an entire game (17 pts vs Wake Forest on Jan. 8) and is the second-highest point total by a Terrapin in the opening 20 minutes of a game this season (Coleman 18 first-half points vs North Carolina on Jan. 25).
"If I can bring anything to this team it's intensity," Kizer, who recorded her seventh double-double of the season, said. "I'm getting more confidence (as the season progresses)."
Frese agreed, saying "(Kizer) gives us a tremendous post presence and she's very active and aggressive. She made great plays defensively which then got her going in the offensive end."
Toliver rounded out Maryland's double-digit scorers with 11 points. The senior added four assists and four rebounds. Sophomore Drey Mingo, playing for the first time in her hometown of Atlanta, provided a spark off the bench with seven points and a rebound.
Mingo sank all four of her free throw attempts, helping the Terps to a 23-for-28 mark (82.1 percent) at the line. Georgia Tech sank 7-of-9 from the charity stripe. Maryland out-rebounded Georgia Tech, 40-36, but committed eight more turnovers than the Yellow Jackets (19-11).
Coleman continues to maneuver her way up the ACC career charts. She moved into 17th place in ACC history in scoring (1,976 points), 14th place in rebounding (1,025) and 12th place in free throws made (433). She also tied former teammate Shay Doron (2004-07) on the Maryland games played list with 134.
Averaging a team-high 24 points per game over the last four contests, Coleman is 24 points shy of becoming just the seventh player in ACC history with 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
Maryland will play host to No. 7/8 Duke on Sunday at the Comcast Center in a matchup of ACC heavyweights. The two teams are tied in second place with 9-2 conference marks. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.