Thomas hits milestone, Terps women win 103-51
If Alyssa Thomas can come close to having a January similar to
November and December, Maryland will like its ACC chances.
In final non-conference tuneup for the No. 8 Terrapins, Thomas
scored a season-high 28 points and had 10 rebounds to give her
1,000 for her career in a 103-51 rout of the College of Charleston
in the Terrapin Classic championship game Sunday.
The performance capped an early season where the senior forward
has had 12 straight double-doubles to lead the nation, and posted
two of her four career triple-doubles in the last four games.
Maryland has now won 10 straight, and its last four by an average
of 53.5 points.
”It’s just a huge honor,” said Thomas, fourth all-time among
Maryland rebounders, of hitting the milestone with her final
rebound of the day. ”Just, being on a list with so many great
players who have made an impact here. It’s definitely a huge
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 15 points and Tierney Pfirman
added 10 for the Terrapins (12-1), who led 54-15 after their most
dominant first half of the season.
Afreyea Tolbert scored 20 points for Charleston (7-5), which saw
its three-game win streak snapped. Breanna Bolden added 11 points
and Jazz Green scored 10.
”When you talk about the first half, that’s probably the best
basketball we’ve played,” said Maryland coach Brenda Frese, whose
team forced 12 turnovers and allowed just five field goals before
halftime. ”And to be able to see us continuing to really improve
together as a team was really special to be able to watch.”
January gets significantly tougher for Maryland, with an ACC
opener at No. 10 North Carolina next weekend and home games against
No. 20 Syracuse and No. 2 Notre Dame later in the month. Maryland’s
only loss came at home on Nov. 15 against top-ranked UConn, its
only ranked opponent to date.
Sunday, the Cougars failed to give Maryland the same scare as
CAA foes Drexel, who fell 69-63 here in late November.
Tolbert was the only Charleston player to make a field goal in
the first half. Her teammates were 0 for 21 from the field in the
first 20 minutes, before Bolden hit an inside basket that made it
58-19 early in the second half.
”I felt like we took good shots, I felt like the right people
were taking the shots,” said Charleston coach Natasha Adair.
”They just didn’t fall.”
By then, Thomas had scored 22 points, including 20 before
halftime, turning from facilitator to scorer a day after
contributing 10 assists in Maryland’s semifinal win over Wofford on
Thomas had already hit three inside baskets before Tolbert made
Charleston’s first field goal 5:31 in. Later in the half, she
scored eight consecutive points for Maryland as the lead grew to
”I think we were just able to get out in transition, you
know,” Thomas said. ”Our teammates were finding me right in the
lane and just getting easy buckets.”
In the second half, Thomas reached her rebound milestone on the
offensive glass before sinking a putback to push it to 91-40. Frese
then substituted for the senior, who played 23 minutes, before an
Maryland guard Lexie Brown returned to action after missing
Saturday’s semifinal because of a family issue.