Terrapin women cruise past Siena 105-49

USA TODAY Sports

Does it make you a sinner if you beat a team called the Saints by 56 points? And does her stat line make Alyssa Thomas the biggest sinner of all? Read on for details.

HaHaHaHaHa! This was nearly the headline I chose for Monday night's women's basketball game against the Siena Saints. It was a true laugher as the Terrapins strolled to a 105-49 rout of the visitors from Loudonville, NY. In fourteen previous tries including two against Maryland, Siena had never beaten a top twenty five team and Monday night they extended that string to fifteen. In the teams' two previous meetings the Terps racked up wins by margins of 41 points and 39 points. If anything, the Saints fared even worse falling by a 105-49 final as Maryland reached the hundred point mark for the second time this season.

It seems almost silly to do a detailed recap of this game but here's what transpired. Some strong early play from Katie Rutan got the Terps off to a quick start and her three pointer that put Maryland up 11-2 had Siena calling for a timeout just three minutes and thirty-one seconds into the "contest." Initially it didn't do much good as the Terps scored the first five points after the timeout to take a 16-2 lead. The sparse crowd over just over 1,900 didn't really get nervous when the Saints made their one significant run of the game behind a handful of three point jumpers to narrow the gap to five at 22-17. Maryland responded with seven straight to push the lead to twelve. Brene Moseley's free throw coming out of the under four media timeout ballooned the lead to twenty and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough's first basket of the half sent the Terps into the locker room with a 48-26 lead. If Maryland had any negatives to take into the locker room, they were Siena's five made three point shots and a slim five rebound edge.

The Terps opened the second half on a 10-2 run over the first three and a half minutes that pushed their lead to thirty. Siena entered the game yielding an average of 62 points over their first seven games and Maryland needed just twenty-five minutes and forty seconds to surpass that total when Malina Howard made two free throws with 14:20 to play. When Lexie Brown dropped in a three point jumper two minutes and ten seconds later, the 10-2 run became a 28-6 run.

By this point, only two bits of suspense remained. The first was whether the Terps would reach the century mark. The second surrounded Alyssa Thomas. The senior All-American and Player of the Year candidate ended the first half with 8 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds. Thomas had reached double figures in points on a short jumper in the paint with 17:13 to play. She had pulled down her tenth rebound with 13:55 to play. When Brown made the jumper that put the Terps up by forty, AT had seven assists. So, of course, the question hanging in the air was would we see the third triple double of Thomas' career and the fourth in Maryland women's basketball history. (Marissa Coleman owns the other and Greivis Vasquez has the only triple double on the men's side. Derrick Lewis [2] and Greivis Vasquez have the only triple doubles in Maryland men's basketball history.) With 4:36 to play, freshman Brionna Jones' layup on a pass from Thomas gave the Terrapin star her tenth assist. On the Terps next possession, she'd add another for good measure when she found Shatori for a three pointer on the next bucket. In her twenty-nine minutes of play, Thomas finshed with 11 assists, 12 points, and 13 rebounds. And she added 4 steals just for good measure.

So what was this game about and what did we learn? They can make halftime adjustments even in a rout. The 5 rebound edge at halftime became 15 by game's end and Siena's 5-13 three point shooting dropped to 2-9 in the second half. Six Terps in double figures led by Laurin Mincy's 21 says Maryland has a lot of weapons and when they shoot well they are nearly impossible to defend. Thirty assists on thirty-nine baskets shows they continue to share the ball well and that they were making lots of shots tonight. Ten for fifteen three point shooting says you don't want to play Maryland the game after they've gone two for eleven. We also learned that playing a team like Siena is little more than practice in front of a crowd but at least gets Sequoia Austin and Essence Townsend some playing time. Oh, and one more thing: Only fools are indifferent to the talent of a player like Alyssa Thomas and that she would play a game in front of 1,900 fans at home is a shonda! (It's Yiddish - look it up if you can't figure it out.)

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