It was obvious from the opening tip in today’s game against the Boston College Eagles that not only was Maryland coming off their bye week but that their previous opponent had not posed much of a challenge. In fact, the Terps would need twenty-five or thirty minutes to fully shake off the rust in an eventual 85-62 thumping of the Eagles.
After missing their first three shots, the Terrapins finally broke the ice with a three point jumper from Katie Rutan. The Terps managed to keep the Eagles in the game early with four turnovers on their first six possessions and the teams went to the first media break tied at five. Maryland scored first out of the break before BC went on a 10-0 run that featured a pair of open three pointers and an offensive put back to give the visitors an 8 point lead and force Coach Frese into calling an early time out. The Terps responded with an 11-0 run of their own to take a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. An Eagles free throw cut the Terps lead to 4 when Alyssa Thomas, after about a two minute break came off the bench to notch a steal, an offensive rebound, and score six straight points and an old fashioned three point play by Tianna Hawkins would push the Maryland lead into double digits for the first time in the game. However, the Terps still hadn’t found their intensity on the defensive end and an experienced Eagles squad exploited that to stay within striking distance and went into halftime trailing the Terps by seven at 38-31.
The Terps came out of the locker room with a bit more intensity ratcheting up their defense and looking intent of expanding on their relatively small halftime rebounding margin which stood at six. Still, if this was not the raging storm we’d seen in earlier games against the likes of Miami, NC State, and UNC, it was effective enough to allow Maryland to gradually put the game out of reach. When Tianna put back a missed Katie Rutan three pointer with about 17 minutes left in the game, the Terps led by double digits for the second time. But a disciplined Eagles team assisted by some hot three point shooting managed to maintain contact closing at one point to within six and trailing by only eleven with about nine and a half minutes remaining at 62-51. At this point the Terrapins fully shook off the rust and let their speed and superior athleticism carry them on a 15-4 run over the next four minutes that salted the game away. The lead would grow to as much as twenty-five and the Terps would finish the game – as they have the past several games – with Caitlin Adams and Sequoia Austin on the floor. Adams entered the game with just under two minutes remaining much to the delight of many of her volleyball teammates who were attending. She missed her only shot, a jumper from the free throw line.
It comes as no surprise that Tianna Hawkins led the Terps in scoring with 26 points on 11 of 14 shooting followed closely by Alyssa Thomas’s 24. Filling up the stat sheet as she frequently does, Thomas led the team with 12 reabounds (her 13th double-double of the season) while adding 4 assists, 4 blocks, and 2 steals. In all, Maryland had five players in double figures. Katie Rutan scored all ten of her points in the first half. Freshman Malina Howard came off the bench to drop in ten of her own and junior center Alicia DeVaughn scored thirteen including a perfect 9 for 9 from the charity stripe. DeVaughn fell one rebound shy of reaching a double-double. Freshman point guard Chloe Pavlech ran the team efficiently and dished out six assists to only three turnovers. The Terps hit the road for games at Wake Forest on Thursday followed by the first of two match ups with Duke on Sunday.
In some other notes, injured freshman Tierney Pfirman is progressing in her rehab and may return to the active roster before the ACC Tournament. And for those of you who might be interested, ESPN featured this blog entry from incoming 2013 prospect Lexie Brown: http://espn.go.com/espnw/blog/post/3191/going-maryland-dream-come-true
For those of you who don't know, Brown is the 15th ranked player and 3rd ranked point guard in the class. She hails from Atlanta ans is the daughter of former Celtics, Raptors, and Magic guard Dee Brown.