DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Blair Watson scored 19 points and Shakira Austin scored 17 points as ninth-ranked Maryland won its fifth straight, cruising to a 63-44 victory over Clemson on Friday at the Daytona Invitational.
Austin connected on six of her first seven shots as the Terrapins (6-1) stormed out to a 32-8 lead on Kaila Charles’ lay-up with 2:54 remaining in the first half.
Clemson (2-5) closed out the first half with a 9-2 run and got to within 34-22 in the third quarter on Kendall Spray’s 3-pointer. Maryland once again responded with its defense, holding the Tigers scoreless the next four minutes to push its lead to 41-23 with 4:08 remaining in the third quarter on two Charles free throws.
The Tigers did get the deficit to single digits on Shania Mertins’ lay-up with 9:37 remaining that cut it to 46-37.
Watson took over the game after that, hitting four 3-pointers on a 16-0 run that gave Maryland its largest lead of the night, 62-37, with 3:10 remaining.
Amari Wall led Clemson with 14 points. While Spray added 11.
THE BIG PICTURE:
MARYLAND: Austin, a sophomore has been on a role for the Terrapins ever since leading a come-from-behind victory over James Madison. She’s scored double-figures each game during this win streak and basically took over the game both in the post and the open court in Maryland’s aggressive defense.
CLEMSON: The Tigers’ non-conference schedule has also included No. 5 South Carolina and Penn State and has Iowa before the ACC opener against Florida State. The Tigers came into this game averaging 22 turnovers.
Maryland will face Belmont on Saturday.
Clemson will meet Alcorn State on Saturday.
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