COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Maryland got an added bonus with its sixth straight victory: revenge.
Tianna Hawkins scored 25, Alyssa Thomas had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and the 10th-ranked Terrapins beat No. 11 North Carolina 85-59 Thursday night to end the Tar Heels’ 11-game winning streak.
Thomas fell two assists short of her second career triple-double and Chloe Pavlech scored 18 for Maryland (16-3, 7-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). The Terrapins are unbeaten since falling to North Carolina on Jan. 3.
Maryland shot 23.5 percent in the second half of that loss in Chapel Hill, and this game provided a measure of redemption.
“We played our game today,” Thomas said. “We didn’t let them frustrate us. We were the more physical team out there today, and they had no answer for us.”
The Terrapins took the lead for good at 19-18, expanded the margin to 12 at halftime and led by 29 in the second half.
“Wow, that was fun,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “It speaks volumes of the pride we have in the locker room. For our team to come out and execute in the dominating fashion that they did tonight was pretty special.”
In the first game, Maryland let a six-point halftime lead vanish. In this one, the Terrapins were relentless in the second half.
“We locked in,” Frese said. “It was as close to a perfect 40-minute game that we played all season.”
Krista Gross and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt each scored 15 for the Tar Heels (18-2, 6-1), who fell into third place in the ACC behind Duke and the Maryland. North Carolina went 1 for 19 from 3-point range.
Maryland, in contrast, shot 58 percent from the floor, and Pavlech had more 3-pointers (two) than UNC.
“They’re a very good team,” Tar Heels coach Sylvia Hatchell said. “Nobody’s shot the ball that well against all year. We’ll learn from it.”
Maryland led 41-30 before Thomas scored seven points in a 14-4 run that upped the margin to 21 with 12:48 left. Hatchell received a technical foul and Ruffin-Pratt, the Tar Heels’ leading scorer, picked up her fourth foul during the pivotal stretch.
North Carolina had not lost since Dec. 2, 102-57 at Tennessee.
The Terrapins got a scare with 5:14 left in the first half when Thomas leaped for a long rebound and was undercut by North Carolina guard Brittany Rountree, who was also in pursuit of the loose ball. Thomas rolled off Rountree’s back and landed on her hip in obvious pain. Thomas was helped to the locker room but missed less than three minutes of playing time before returning.
“It was definitely a scary moment, but nothing that hasn’t happened before,” Thomas said. “Just a bump.”
Maryland could not afford to lose her. Not only does Thomas rank second in the ACC in scoring and rebounding, but Maryland dressed only eight players.
Hawkins and Pavlech each had 12 points, and the Terrapins shot 65 percent in taking a 37-25 halftime lead.
Getting two baskets and four assists from Thomas in the opening eight minutes, Maryland took a 17-10 lead before the Tar Heels used an 8-0 spurt to move in front.
Pavlech then hit a jumper and her second 3-pointer to spark a 9-0 run that made it 26-18. At that point, the Terrapins were 12 for 18 from the floor and Thomas had assists on half their baskets.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)