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

honor.”

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

Saturday.

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

45-13.

”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

appreciative crowd.

Maryland guard Lexie Brown returned to action after missing

Saturday’s semifinal because of a family issue.