COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Siena’s season goal remains winning the MAAC championship and earning a trip to the NCAA tournament. Even with players like Alyssa Thomas waiting if they get there.
Thomas had 12 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists for her third career triple-double to lead No. 8 Maryland to a 105-49 victory over Siena on Monday night.
Brianna Logan scored 12 for the Saints (4-4), who kept it close for most of the first half before wearing down after the break in by far their most lopsided loss of the season.
“It definitely challenged us a lot and could help us in when we win the MAAC and make it to the NCAAs and have to face a team like that,” she said. “It prepares us for the future.”
Siena had not allowed more than 70 points in a game before Monday, and entered leading the MAAC in limiting opponents to around 62 points per game — a mark Maryland (9-1) reached with 14:20 remaining.
Laurin Mincy scored 21 points for Maryland and Brene Moseley added 13 — season highs for both — as six Terps scored in double figures in Maryland’s eighth straight victory.
The Saints resume their schedule after final exams with a home game against Binghamton on Dec. 21 before beginning conference play at Iona eight days later.
Coach Ali Jaques hopes the trial-by-fire helps her team entering the MAAC season.
“For us, in rebuilding this program and taking it to the next level, we want to play against the best teams in the country and we want to challenge ourselves,” Jaques said. “And I think we got better tonight.”
Helped by Thomas, a forward, playing as a distributor, the Terps had 30 assists while shooting 60 percent (39 for 65) from the floor and, 67 percent (10 of 15) from 3-point range.
Siena, meanwhile, shot just 28 percent (14 of 50) from the floor and 32 percent (7 of 22) from beyond the arc, while being outrebounded 41-26.
“They certainly can push pace and they’re extremely athletic and that’s how they’re built, and they’ve also got the bigs that can rebound to be able to do that,” Jaques said. “You can’t run if you don’t rebound, and they do a really, really nice job of that.”
After trailing 16-2 early, the Saints put together a 10-2 run capped by Logan’s 3-pointer from the left wing to cut it to 22-17.
Later, Clara Sole Anglada twice cut Siena’s deficit to nine with 3s, the latter making it 32-23.
“I think we definitely attacked and we didn’t show any fear,” Logan said. “We definitely rebounded. We weren’t afraid at all.”
But Maryland responded with a 24-3 run that stretched into the second half.
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough’s inside basket off Lexie Brown’s feed made it 48-26 at halftime and Thomas, who grabbed 10 of her 13 rebounds after halftime, hit a turnaround jumper on a putback that made it 56-26.
Siena’s Meghan Donahue finally answered with an inside basket on the Saints’ next possession, ending a stretch of 9:47 without a field goal.
But Maryland kept pouring it on, stretching the lead beyond 40 on Moseley’s two free throws to make it 73-32, and beyond 50 when Walker-Kimbrough’s jumper made it 89-38.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)