Terps Hold Off Navy in NCAA Opener, 59-44
March 17, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Alyssa Thomas was the best player on her home floor, a big reason why second-seeded Maryland was able to get past in-state foe Navy.
Thomas had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and the Terrapins used a strong second half to beat the 15th-seeded Midshipmen 59-44 Saturday in the first round of the NCAA women's tournament.
Laurin Mincy scored 14 for Maryland (29-4), which will next play Monday night against the winner of the Louisville-Michigan State game at 7 p.m. in Comcast Center.
Thomas, a 6-foot-2 sophomore, scored 12 points in the second half on 5-for-7 shooting. Along the way, she became the 27th player in the history of the program to break the 1,000-point mark. She is the second-fastest Terrapin to reach the landmark. She needed only 63 games, while Crystal Langhorne did it in 60.
The Terrapins led 31-23 before Thomas fueled a 14-4 run at the outset of the second half to up the margin to 15. Minutes later, she scored six points in an 8-0 spree that made it 57-36 with 6:30 to go.
It was Maryland's 20th trip to the NCAA tournament and Navy's second. The difference between the teams, however, transcended postseason experience.
Navy, the Patriot League champion, simply didn't have enough height or talent to compete with the Terrapins, who finished with a 46-33 rebounding advantage. Jade Geif led Navy (18-14) with 14 points. The Midshipmen shot 30.5 percent and took only two free throws.
Audrey Bauer went 2 for 15 from the floor and missed eight of nine attempts from beyond the 3-point arc.
Using a 27-14 rebounding advantage in the first half, Maryland led 31-23 at the break.
Senior Kim Rodgers drilled a 3-pointer for a 20-17 lead in the first. After Navy misfired on the other end Rodgers again connected from beyond the arc, and Brene Moseley added another to make it 26-17.
For tickets to Monday's NCAA Second Round matchup, log onto the Terrapin Ticket Office online at umterps.com or call 1-800-IM-A-TERP. The game will also be shown on ESPN2 and online on ESPN3.com..
The Terrapins are in the Raleigh region, in which Notre Dame is the No. 1 seed and the 2011 national champion Texas A&M is the No. 3 seed.
Head coach Brenda Frese and the Terps have won their last eight straight games and 11 of their last 12 heading into Monday's game.
The Terrapins are 29-18 (.617) all-time in NCAA Tournament games. Frese owns an NCAA Tournament record of 18-7 (.720) and 17-6 (.739). Frese has led the Terps to three Elite Eights and the 2006 national championship.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.