COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s young basketball team appears to have finally grown up.
Alyssa Thomas had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and the 15th-ranked Terrapins had four other players score in double figures Sunday in a surprisingly easy 88-65 victory over No. 10 North Carolina.Coach Brenda Frese knew it would take a while for a team with six freshmen and not a single senior to play at its best. Judging by Maryland’s performance against the Tar Heels, that time is now.
“You could see our confidence this game at an all-time high,” Frese said. “You’re starting to see a team coming together. This is a great opportunity for us to gain momentum with what we’re doing.”
Diandra Tchatchouang scored 13, Lynetta Kizer and Alicia DeVaughn each had 12, and Laurin Mincy added 10 points for the Terrapins (16-3, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference).
“It just feels great that everyone contributed. We battled together for 40 minutes,” Kizer said. “It’s a confidence builder going into the rest of ACC play, because we know we set the bar high tonight.”
Maryland committed a whopping 28 turnovers but shot 48 percent from the floor and finished with a 55-32 rebounding advantage. The Terps also went 23 for 25 at the foul line.
It was Maryland’s largest margin of victory against North Carolina since an 88-64 rout on Feb. 6, 1990.
“For us, it was just a dominating win from start to finish,” Frese said.
Italee Lucas scored 17 for the Tar Heels (17-3, 3-2). After opening the season with 14 straight wins, North Carolina has since gone 3-3.
“We just have to learn from this,” said North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell, who was pleased with her team’s 17 steals but lamented that the Tar Heels scored only nine points off Maryland turnovers.
“You would think we could have turned those into points, but we didn’t,” she said.
Hatchell attributed the Terrapins’ decisive rebounding advantage to their aggressive play.
“I’m not saying they were dirty, but I’ve been to boxing matches that weren’t quite as physical,” he said.
Maryland opened the second half with a 12-4 run to go up 56-36.
Tchatchouang got the Terrapins started with a 3-pointer, and Kizer capped the surge with a three-point play.
After North Carolina closed to 60-46, Mincy had five points and Kizer contributed a basket and two free throws to an 11-2 spree that put the Terrapins up by 23 with nine minutes left.
Anjale Barrett finished with eight points and 11 assists for Maryland, which never trailed after breaking an early 4-4 tie.
The Terrapins committed 17 turnovers but shot 55 percent and outrebounded the Tar Heels 25-11 in taking a 44-32 halftime lead.
DeVaughn had 12 points, three rebounds and an assist in only nine minutes.
“She was a big spark for us,” Frese said of DeVaughn, a 6-foot-4 freshman.
Maryland made seven of its first 10 shots and got six points from Thomas in a 19-5 run that made it 23-9 with nine minutes elapsed.
Despite going 3 for 15 with five turnovers at the outset, North Carolina closed to 38-32 before going cold late in the half.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)