No. 9 Maryland 72, Hartford 40
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP)
Alyssa Thomas had 22 points and 11 rebounds, helping No. 9 Maryland cruise to a 72-40 victory over Hartford on Saturday in the championship game of the Terrapin Classic.
''When we're in that kind of flow, we don't even worry about making mistakes or turning the ball over,'' Thomas said. ''We're just going out there and having fun and playing for each other.''
Tianna Hawkins scored 16 points, earning the tournament's Most Valuable Player honors, and Alicia DeVaughn added 13 points and 13 rebounds for Maryland (10-2), which has won six straight games. The Terrapins improved to 96-5 in non-conference games at Comcast Center.
Terrapins coach Brenda Frese got an impressive effort she hopes will be a springboard into a tough Atlantic Coast Conference schedule. Maryland played its last non-conference game before the first of 17 straight ACC games beginning Jan. 3 at North Carolina.
''It was definitely a much more dominating performance today from start to finish,'' Frese said. ''I thought we came out with great defensive intensity, which really led to unselfish play on the offensive end - just the way we shared the basketball, the way we dominated the glass and were able to mix it up defensively between our man and our zone.''
Daphne Elliott had nine points for Hartford (9-4) in the first meeting between the schools since December 1997. The Hawks, who had won three of four overall, are 0-2 all-time against Maryland.
Hartford wasn't prepared early for Maryland's aggressive transition game and let the Terrapins go on a big run to open the second half. The Hawks shot 16 for 59 (27 percent) in the game, misfiring on 18 of 22 3-point tries.
''I don't think the reality of how quickly they get up and down the floor sets in until you're actually out there with them,'' Hartford coach Jennifer Rizzotti said. ''They just kind of ran us out of the gym in those two spurts.''
Maryland's early plan of clogging the middle and forcing the Hawks into low-percentage perimeter shots worked. Hartford started 7 for 20 from the field and the Terrapins took control en route to a 41-24 halftime lead.
''You can't let a team like that get so many opportunities,'' Rizzotti said. ''They're athletic, they're determined to make their life easier and get easy shots. ... For us, there's no room for error, no margin. We can't make any mistakes.''
Tierney Pfirman's three-point play 4:08 into the game ignited a 17-6 run that gave Maryland a 30-13 cushion with 8:09 remaining in the first half.
Hawkins had eight points in the run, reaching 1,200 for her career. In the middle of the run, she blocked Christie Michael's shot from the foul line, collected the rebound and scored on a transition layup, becoming the sixth player in Maryland history with 100 career blocks.
The Terrapins scored the first 10 points of the second half to increase their lead to 51-24, with Taylor getting six points, as Hartford missed its first seven shots to open the final 20 minutes.