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December 29, 2013

WBB: No. 8 Terps Cruise Past Cougars

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - National Player of the Year candidate Alyssa Thomas scored a season-high 28 points and grabbed her 1,000th rebound as No. 8 Maryland routed the College of Charleston 103-51 on Sunday in the Terrapin Classic championship game.

With her 28 points and 10 rebounds Sunday, Thomas became the fifth player in Maryland history - male or female - to break 1,000 rebounds. Just Len Elmore, Crystal Langhorne, Marissa Coleman and Tianna Hawkins have reached that mark. She also notched her 12th straight double-double and 50th of her career.

Freshman Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added 15 points for her fourth straight game in double figures and 10th in her 13 career games. Sophomore Tierney Pfirman scored 10 points to help the Terrapins (12-1).

Maryland has defeated its last four opponents, all at home, by an average of 53.5 points, and played its most dominant first half of the season Sunday, taking a 54-15 lead before the break.

"I thought this was just a great weekend," head coach Brenda Frese said. "When you talk about the first half that is probably the best basketball that we've played. To be able to see us really continue to play together as a team, I thought was really special to be able to watch us click on all cylinders. The fact that it's on both ends of the floor, offensively and defensively, continuing to share the basketball and play better defense was a great weekend to show that as we get ready for conference play."

Afreyea Tolbert scored 20 points for Charleston (7-5). Tolbert was the only Charleston player to make a field goal in the first half. The 54 points were the most they allowed and the 15 the least they scored in a half this season.

Tolbert's teammates were 0 for 21 from the field in the first 20 minutes, before Breanna Bolden, who finished with 11 points, hit an inside basket that made it 58-19 early in the second half.

Thomas' performance came a day after posting her second triple-double of the season in the Terrapins' semifinal victory over Wofford.

And by the time Bolden made her first field goal, Thomas had scored 22 points, including 20 before halftime, turning from facilitator to scorer a day after contributing 10 assists.

Thomas had already hit three inside baskets before Tolbert made Charleston's first field goal 5:31 in. Later in the half, she scored eight consecutive points for Maryland as the lead grew to 45-13.

Thomas was named Terrapin Classic MVP and Walker-Kimbrough and Pfirman each made the All-Tournament Team, as did Tolbert. Howard's Victoria Gonzalez and Wofford's Jordan Frazier also made the All-Tournament Team.

Thomas became the fifth player in Maryland women's basketball history to reach the 1,900 point mark Sunday with her 28 points. She now has 1920 career points and is behind Vicky Bullett (1,928), Kristi Toliver (2,078), Coleman (2,205) and Langhorne (2,247).

The Terrapins are ranked No. 8 in the latest Associated Press and USA Today National Coaches polls.

Next, the Terps will open ACC play at No. 10 North Carolina (11-2) Sunday, Jan. 5 at 3 p.m. The Terps-Tar Heels matchup will be shown on ESPNU and can be heard on the Maryland Sports Radio Network. Live updates will be available at https://twitter.com/umdwbb.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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