#7 Maryland Runs Past Virginia, 73-44
In the midst of a difficult four game stretch that has seen a lone three point win, the Virginia women’s basketball team returned home to John Paul Jones Arena for the first time since February 8th, when they fell by 21 points to #5 Duke.
Facing #7 Maryland, another highly ranked ACC team, presented new challenges for the Cavaliers. Ultimately, the ‘Hoos could not match the talented Terrapins, as they were routed 73-44.
The Terps (21-4, 12-2 ACC) never relinquished their first lead in the game, despite several charges by the Wahoos in the opening half.
Maryland’s initial 6-0 run was the first of many that eventually sunk the ‘Hoos. A highly-efficient Terp offense started 11-14 from the field and led 25-17 after another 7-0 run, riding the hot hand of forward Alyssa Thomas.
Virginia was dealt a serious blow at the 14:32 mark when junior Kelsey Wolfe went down with an apparent knee injury. Wolfe, along with Sarah Beth Barnette who was shaken up later in the half, would not return to the game.
“Kelsey is a starter, she plays major minutes and plays a major role on this team,” junior Ataira Franklin said, “that’s a time when we need to rally as a team and we didn’t do that tonight.”
Senior Telia McCall and Franklin hit back-to-back threes to bring the Cavaliers back within two, but that was the closest the team would get for the remainder of the game.
Following a Franklin jumper, closing the gap to 29-25 at 3:46, the Terrapins capitalized on the media timeout and began a 20-0 run that would span both halves, the third of four Maryland runs of at least six points in the game.
The Cavaliers did not register a single point for nearly ten minutes until Ataira Franklin drained a three with 13:36 remaining in the second half. The Virginia offense finally awakened, but it was much too late as the team trailed by 27 points.
“I was pleased with the first half,” head coach Joanne Boyle said. “We didn’t respond [in the second half]. They are a great team, they have great size, but it’s a disappointment that we are going on our fourth game scoring in the 40s. I just think we played fearful.”
The Terps were able to dictate an up-tempo pace that Virginia did not look comfortable in, as they normally operate from half-court sets.
“[Maryland] got some quick buckets in transition and we weren’t able to hold on,” Franklin said.
Maryland out-rebounded the Wahoos by 17 and dominated them in points in the paint, points off turnovers, and transition scoring.
Alyssa Thomas singlehandedly dominated Virginia, finishing with 27 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks.
Virginia, led by Ataira Franklin who finished with 21 points, two steals, and two rebounds, drops to 15-10 on the season and 7-7 in the ACC.
The Cavaliers next travel to South Carolina to take on the Clemson Tigers (7-18, 3-11 ACC) on February 21st.
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