No. 12 Maryland 72, Quinnipiac 52
For a while, it appeared as if little Quinnipiac had a chance to
hang with mighty Maryland.
Alyssa Thomas and the Terrapins would have none of it.
Thomas had 29 points and 13 rebounds, and Maryland spoiled
Quinnipiac’s debut in the NCAA women’s tournament by pulling away
to a 72-52 victory Saturday.
The fourth-seeded Terrapins (25-7) trailed by nine in the first
half, scrambled to go up 27-23 at the break and dominated the
second half against the smaller Bobcats, who couldn’t stop Thomas’
repeated forays into the lane.
”You just give her the ball and let her go to work,” Maryland
coach Brenda Frese said. ”She’s like a life vest – she can bail
out anyone and anything. You saw her versatility. She was able to
change the game. They didn’t have an answer.”
Tianna Hawkins had 23 points and 16 rebounds for Maryland, which
will face Michigan State on Monday night. The fifth-seeded Spartans
advanced with a 55-47 win over Marist.
Felicia Barron scored 13 for No. 13 seed Quinnipiac (30-3), the
Northeast Conference champions. The Bobcats were unbeaten since a
74-57 defeat against Georgia Tech on Dec. 29.
But none of those 22 opponents had the height or talent of the
Terrapins, who finished tied for second in the Atlantic Coast
”They’re a lot longer than we are, that’s for sure,”
Quinnipiac forward Brittany McQuain said. ”If we had played
against those bodies all year long, we definitely would have been
Quite clearly, the 6-foot-2 Thomas and 6-3 Hawkins were just too
good. Between them, they scored as many points as the entire
”Being on the floor with talent like that is kind of
humbling,” McQuain said. ”We did really extremely well in the
NEC, not losing a game, and then coming here and playing against a
really good ACC team kind of opens our eyes a little bit.”
Quinnipiac played well for much of the first half, but very
little went right for the Bobcats after that. Maryland opened the
second half with a 14-3 run to go up 41-26, and Quinnipiac couldn’t
score with enough consistency to make up the difference.
”I don’t think they’ve seen a team like us, that’s able to
rebound and run,” Thomas said. ”They found it very hard to match
up with all of us.”
During the first 10 minutes after the break, Quinnipiac was 2
for 22 from the floor while being outscored 22-9. The Bobcats
finished with a 23 percent field-goal percentage on 17-for-74
”We just couldn’t put the ball in the basket,” lamented guard
Gillian Abshire, who had more turnovers than field goals (2-1).
Both teams had 22 rebounds at halftime, but Maryland finished
with a 59-41 advantage. Alicia DeVaughn grabbed a career-high 17
for the Terps.
”I think we were able to wear them down. You could see that in
the second half,” Frese said. ”We still wanted to continue to
push tempo. Obviously we were disappointed in our rebounding at
halftime. Credit them. They were physical, and I thought they gave
us their best punch in the first half.
”But I do think our size, our physicality, our length,
athleticism, Alyssa Thomas got to them. She gives you about three
extra bodies out there in terms of her play.”
Thomas scored 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting in a shaky first
half for the Terrapins, who needed a closing 15-2 run to take the
The 11:15 a.m. start produced shoddy play by both teams at the
outset. Although the Bobcats missed seven of their first eight
shots, Maryland started 4 for 20 from the floor. The Terrapins
trailed 21-12 before Thomas made a layup to spark a 9-0 spurt that
included five points by Hawkins.