No. 7 Maryland 73, Virginia 44

Alyssa Thomas’ cheek-to-cheek smile rarely left her face

Sunday.

Thomas made 12 of 18 shots and had 27 points, 13 rebounds, four

assists, two blocks and a steal as No. 7 Maryland used a 26-3 run

spanning the halves to blow open a close game and beat Virginia

73-44 at John Paul Jones Arena.

”She’s a great player, great size, great strength,” Virginia’s

Ataira Franklin said. ”She got going early and she’s the heart of

their team. As she goes, they go and we weren’t able to shut her

down early, and you saw what happened.”

Thomas was still smiling when the Terrapins’ fifth straight

victory in the series was over.

”I’m having fun,” she said. ”No reason but to smile.”

Alicia DeVaughn added 14 points and Malina Howard 12 for the

Terrapins (21-4, 12-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who led 29-25

before two free throws by DeVaughn sparked the burst 3:46 before

halftime, giving Maryland a 37-25 lead.

Thomas, who had 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists by

halftime, opened the second half with a driving basket and

foul-line jumper. After DeVaughn scored, Thomas hit another

12-footer in the lane, Katie Rutan made a 3-pointer from the left

corner and Thomas’ free throw completed a 20-0 burst.

”We had a lot of fun tonight,” Terps coach Brenda Frese said.

”Just a dominant performance. I really liked how we ended before

halftime and the second half was probably one of the best 20

minutes that we’ve put together in a long time.”

It was nothing like that for Virginia, which made only 3 of 19

field goal tries after halftime.

”For me, it just disappointing,” second-year Cavaliers coach

Joanne Boyle said. ”We are going on our fourth game scoring in the

40s and I just think we play fearful and I don’t know what has

changed or why all of a sudden, but we have to figure out that we

can talk a good game and be in there prepping all we want, but

until we have a team that steps up and believes they can make shots

and layups … it’s going to be long nights for us.”

Franklin, a junior guard, led Virginia (15-10, 7-7) with 21

points, but no one else scored more than seven.

Virginia missed 16 consecutive field goals tries during

Maryland’s burst until Franklin’s 3-pointer finally dropped 6:22

into the second half. It was the first points for Virginia since

Franklin’s putback with 4:06 remaining in the opening half.

Rutan added 11 for Maryland, which moved into sole possession of

second place in the ACC because No. 14 North Carolina lost 80-73 to

No. 19 Florida State earlier in the day.

For the first 13 minutes, Virginia hung with the Terps, even

after starting guard and second-leading scorer Kelsey Wolfe (11

ppg) was helped off the court in the early going with a right knee

injury. Boyle had no information about Wolfe’s condition afterward,

but said the junior will have an MRI on Monday.

Virginia trailed 23-13 until two free throws by Faith Randolph

sparked a 10-2 run. Telia McCall scored inside and made a 3-pointer

from the top of the key, and Franklin followed with another 3 from

the right corner, prompting Frese to call a timeout with about 7

minutes left in the half.

The Terps responded, holding the Cavaliers to one basket the

rest of the way in a 12-2 run that made it 37-25 at the break.

Virginia missed its last seven shots of the first half and its

first nine of the second half as Maryland scored 20 straight.

The Terps came into the game second in the nation with a

plus-15.8 rebounding differential, and their size advantage was

evident from the outset. They got 22 of their 37 first-half points

in the paint, outrebounded Virginia 20-13 in the opening 20 minutes

and shot 55.6 percent from the field (15 of 27). Maryland finished

with a 40-23 rebounding edge and shot 52.8 percent overall.

Virginia shot 26 percent (13 of 50), and was just 3 of 19 in the

second half.

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