COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Sylvia Crawley couldn’t remember a more difficult 15 minutes.
The Boston College coach watched her Eagles outscored by Maryland 38-3 in the final 15 minutes of the first half Thursday night.
The Eagles trailed 51-13 at halftime — the second fewest points Boston College had ever scored in a half.
Fortunately for Crawley, her team was somewhat more competitive in the second half — being outscored 35-31 in an 86-44 loss to the No. 9 Terrapins on Thursday night.
“I definitely liked our effort in the second half better. I was disappointed that it took us a whole half to fight in this game,”
Crawley said. “I thought we came out with more heart, more effort — attack the basket better. It’s not like we wanted to make the baskets.”
Laurin Mincy and Brene Moseley each scored 16 and Alyssa Thomas added 14 to lead Maryland.
Thomas, who missed the Terps’ last game — an upset loss to Virginia Tech on Jan. 26 — with a sprained left thumb, made her presence felt immediately. She hit a jumper six seconds into the game, and in the first 3:39, had four field goals to give Maryland (19-3, 6-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) a 13-4 lead.
The Terps avoided their first three-game losing streak in nearly two years.
The Eagles (5-17, 0-9) have lost nine straight — their longest losing streak since a 10-game skid in the 1994-95 season.
They shot just 21.1 percent. Joy Caracciolo led B.C. with 10. Katie Zenevitch had eight points and 12 rebounds.
Boston College got consecutive scores just once in the first half when Tiffany Ruffin and Kat Cooper hit 3-point shots to
momentarily cut the Maryland lead to 13-10 with 15:02 remaining.
Playing without a senior, Crawley knew her team was a decided underdog.
“They have experience. They have seniors. At this point in the season, the seniors are what drives the team. They don’t want it to end. They want to defend their home court — and so normally, they’re fighting for that. They want to play pro ball and take it to the next level,” Crawley said. “The underclassmen play hard for the seniors — just because they want someone to do that for them when they’re seniors. That’s what our team is missing, but the second half is something we can build on.”
After halftime, the Eagles were able to cut the lead to 58-33, but never got any closer.
Boston College didn’t shoot much better in the second half — making just 27.5 percent of its shots, but outrebounded Maryland 25-21. In the first half, the Terps grabbed the game’s first eight rebounds.
Maryland’s 42-point win was its largest ACC victory since a 64-point drubbing of Clemson on Jan. 6, 2008.
“I thought the first half was the most inspired, best effort –intensity we’ve given to date. It’s encouraging,” Terrapins coach Brenda Frese said.
The 38-point lead wasn’t the largest of the season for Maryland.
They led Delaware State by 43 on the way to a 75-point win — 108-33 on Dec. 10, but it was the fewest points the Terps allowed in a half this season.
The Eagles shot just 12.9 percent in the half — missing 27 of 31 shots.
Frese said Thomas was vital for her team.
“Extremely important — first and foremost — from the energy she brings — and gives our team confidence when she’s on the floor. You know she’s going to go hard on every possession — defensively — offensively,” Frese said. “Obviously, a critical piece for us.”
Thomas got the cast on her thumb removed Friday.
“It felt really good. It didn’t seem to really affect me out there,” Thomas said.
Maryland scored eight points in a 21-second burst when Mincy scored on a 4-point play, Thomas followed with a layup four seconds later, and Lynetta Kizer another layup 17 seconds later.
Maryland finished the first half scoring the final 20 points.
They hit six of eight 3-pointers in the half.
The second half wasn’t as bad for the Eagles. Thanks to eight points by Zenevitch, who had been held scoreless in the first half, Boston College outscored the Terps 20-7 in the first eight minutes of the half.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)