The Maryland Terrapins carried a six game winning streak into Clemson, South Carolina on Sunday where they faced off against the Clemson Tigers. On paper this looked to be an easy match up for the Terps. On the court it proved to be just that in an 80-40 rout on the road that also gave Coach Brenda Frese her 100th win in ACC play.
Maryland opened the game with an Alicia DeVaughn layup against Clemson’s zone followed quickly by another layup off a Tiger miss. Rebounding, transition and hot shooting let the Terps get out to an early double digit lead at 13-2. Then the turnover bugaboo hit and allowed the Tigers to close to within five at 15-10. Fortunately for the Terps, Katie Rutan was on fire early hitting 4 of five three pointers including one off the glass plus another jumper for 14 early points. Tianna Hawkins joined Rutan in double figures with ten early points. The hot shooting by Hawkins and Rutan also benefitted the Terps as Alyssa Thomas picked up two early fouls and a black eye and spent about 7 minutes on the bench. She scored her only basket of the half with about ninety seconds left.
In addition to the stellar play of Hawkins and Rutan, the Terps got strong first half contributions from Alicia DeVaughn who came out with a purpose who finished the half with 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals. After her hot shooting night on Thursday, freshman point guard Chloe Pavlech, started the game 0-4 befroe dropping in a baseline three pointer with just under five minutes remaining. Pavlech did have 5 of the Terps 13 first half assists and would finish the game with 7 while fellow freshman Malina Howard came off the bench to add four of her sixteen points. Maryland dominated in just about every statistical category out rebounding Clemson 25-9 and shooting 55 percent from the floor while holding the Tigers to only twenty nine percent. The dominance also showed on the scoreboard as the Terps led 44-18 at the break.
Both teams started the second half cold missing their first few shots before the Terps broke the ice on a nice dish from Thomas to Howard as Maryland would eventually pull out to a lead of thirty at the first media time out. The Tigers improved on their first half effort early in the half, grabbing a few rebounds, hitting a three pointer, and getting to the line to slow the Terrapin effort to stretch the lead into the stratosphere. However, after Coach Frese challenged the team during a media time out to step up their defense, the Terps responded and a Malina Howard jumper followed by a steal and lay in by Sequoia Austin pushed the Maryland lead past forty for the first time. When Alyssa Thomas dropped in a short jumper in the lane with about five and a half minutes left, she became the fifth Terrapin in double figures. Though she would fall a bit short of her season scoring average, AT would grab 10 rebounds to notch her twelfth double-double. She would also add 5 assists. T-Hawk joined Thomas in the double-double parade scoring 17 and pulling down 10 boards of her own for her eleventh of the season. Both players have now exceeded their totals from all of last season. Caitlin Adams got her longest stretch of playing time entering the game with about 4 minutes remaining. Though she didn’t manage a shot, she did pull down 2 rebounds and added a steal.
In other statistics of note, Maryland continued their torrid shooting finishing the game at 59 percent and lest you think, that it’s only Clemson, I will note that in their game against Duke on Thursday, Clemson held the Devils to 34%. On the other side of the ball, the Terps held the Tigers to 25 percent for the game. As expected, Maryland held a 44-23 rebounding advantage and they continued sharing the ball extremely well handing out 23 assists on 33 made field goals.
The Terps now have a well deserved week off before they take on the Boston College Eagles on Sunday at Comcast Center. To better accommodate fans who might be interested in watching the Ravens take on the 49ers in the Super Bowl, tip off has been moved to 1:00 pm.