COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Maryland’s top players did their share, as expected. No one, however, could have anticipated a couple of freshmen making significant contributions in a runaway victory over No. 24 Miami.
Chloe Pavlech scored a season-high 20, and the 10th-ranked Terrapins ended the Hurricanes’ five-game winning streak with an 84-62 blowout Thursday night.
Tianna Hawkins bounced back from a poor first half to finish with 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Alyssa Thomas also scored 18. But Pavlech and fellow freshman Malina Howard (10 points, six rebounds) were the difference-makers against a Miami team that couldn’t handle Maryland’s depth.
“It was a great execution of a game plan with a ton of balance,” Hurricanes coach Katie Meier said. “From the middle of the court, they pass the ball as well as any team I’ve played this year, for sure. … I felt like Maryland was a heck of a lot fresher than us and played with more energy.”
Maryland (12-3, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) led by six at halftime before Thomas fueled a 12-4 run by scoring the Terrapins’ first nine points after the break.
“Just a convincing win,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “Probably one of our best games we’ve played up to date.”
Pavlech, a 5-foot-9 guard, previously reached double figures only once — a 10-point effort against Connecticut. In this one, she had 14 at halftime and finished 8 of 11 from the floor.
“She was ready from the tip. Lot of confidence and energy,” Frese said.
Pavlech said, “I think (Miami) thought I that couldn’t shoot or score. So I found myself wide open a few times, and my teammates realized I had the hot hand. They kept getting me the ball and the ball was going in.”
It was Maryland’s third straight game against a ranked opponent. The Terrapins lost at North Carolina before defeating Florida State and Miami at home.
Morgan Stroman led Miami (12-3, 3-1) with 14 points, and Stefanie Yderstrom and Suriya McGuire each had 13. The Hurricanes had won four straight against Maryland.
“We talked about it. No one in our locker room had beaten Miami,” Frese said. “That’s a pride factor, the fact they had our number for quite a while.”
Held to one point on 0-for-6 shooting in the first half, Hawkins returned from the break to make a layup and a three-point play to put Maryland ahead 42-31. She then scored on a follow and hit a jumper off the glass before Thomas scooped in a right-handed shot while being fouled, and her free throw made it 49-35.
It was 54-42 before Howard scored on a drive and Hawkins made a layup to launch an 8-0 run that increased the margin to 20.
Pavlech’s scoring and the team’s 13 offensive rebounds enabled Maryland to overcome an early deficit and go up 37-31 at halftime.
Miami bolted to an 8-1 lead as the Terrapins started 2 for 11 from the field. Maryland eventually went up 23-18 before Yderstrom buried a 3-pointer, Stroman made two free throws and Keyona Hayes sank a baseline jumper to put the Hurricanes back in front.
Pavlech answered with a layup, a 3-pointer and a free throw for a 29-25 advantage, a lead the Terrapins would not lose.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)