BOSTON (AP) — Alyssa Thomas leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in rebounding and is second in scoring. Tianna Hawkins is first in scoring and trails only her Maryland teammate in boards.
Together, they’ve been too much for the rest of the conference this season.
“They don’t know which one of us is going to go off on any given night,” Thomas said after the eighth-ranked Terrapins beat Boston College 86-61 on Thursday night. “Sometimes they get both of us.”
Thomas scored a career-high 30 points and added 12 rebounds, and Hawkins had 15 points and her 1,000th career rebound to lead Maryland (22-4, 13-2 ACC) to its third straight victory. Thomas, a 6-foot-2 forward, also had two blocked shots and four assists.
“It couldn’t happen to two more deserving players,” said Maryland coach Brenda Frese, who commended Thomas’ ability to move around the court. “It’s beautiful to watch. She’s in full control at every position. Her versatility is what makes her so special.”
BC coach Erik Johnson went even further.
“She reminds me of LeBron James in terms of a big, strong, skilled guard. And she is the biggest, strongest most skilled athlete on the court,” he said.
“She has a point guard’s skill set. She is a unique player. I’m honestly not sure the women’s game has seen a player exactly like here, and she’s a tough match up for anybody. She scores inside, she scores outside and she scores in transition.”
With the win, Maryland remained in second place in the ACC, behind Duke and ahead of North Carolina — the only ACC teams to beat the Terps this season. They next play at home against No. 5 Duke, which beat Maryland last week to snap its nine-game winning streak.
Kristen Doherty scored 18 points for Boston College (10-16, 4-11). Kerri Shields scored seven points to become the 22nd women’s player in BC history to reach 1,000.
“It’s a testament to my teammates, who got me the ball so many times,” Shields said. “It’s a cool accomplishment; it’s awesome. But I wouldn’t be able to do that without my teammates.”
Alicia DeVaughn had 10 points and eight rebounds for Maryland. With four rebounds, Hawkins became the third woman — and the fourth man or woman — in school history to grab 1,000; she trails Marissa Coleman and Crystal Langhorne, along with former NBA star Len Elmore.
“Not many players have done that, so it’s cool,” said Hawkins, who was in foul trouble much of the game and played just 24 minutes, allowing Thomas to take over. “One night she’ll have a great night. The next night I do.”
Maryland scored the game’s first five points and led 15-5 with 13 minutes left in the first half. BC cut the deficit to four points midway through the first half, but the Terrapins scored 12 of the last 14 points before halftime to open a 43-25 lead.
BC never got closer than 16 points in the second half.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)