- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 7, 2007

What was supposed to be the Maryland women’s first real test of the season turned out to be just another notch on the Terrapins’ belt.

Maryland junior center Crystal Langhorne scored a season-high 28 points and the top-ranked Terps shot 43.8 percent from 3-point range in a 97-57 rout of No. 19 Michigan State yesterday at Comcast Center.

The Spartans (12-3) entered the game having won five straight but were no match for Maryland’s inside-outside combination of Langhorne and sophomore guard Kristi Toliver. Langhorne hit 13 of 14 shots, while Toliver scored all 12 of her points on 3-pointers in the first half.

The game was the first nationally televised appearance of the season for Maryland (17-0), which set a new school record for wins to open a season.

“I’m sure CBS won’t invite us back anytime soon,” said Michigan State coach Joanne P. McCallie, who has led the Spartans to the Final Four and Sweet 16 the past two seasons. “I apologize for the game. It should have been a much better game. I’m sure Maryland was expecting some measure of competition and that didn’t occur.”

Maryland also extended the nation’s longest-winning streak to 23 games in its final nonconference game of the season.

“We really talked about being able to make a statement,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “We got after it in so many dimensions of the game.”

The 6-foot-2 Langhorne, a consensus preseason All-American, had little trouble against Michigan State’s 6-9 freshman center Allyssa DeHaan, despite giving away seven inches. DeHaan, the Spartans’ leading shot blocker, recorded five blocks against the Terps but was held to only four points on 1-for-7 shooting. DeHaan also had four rebounds to Langhorne’s nine.

Langhorne’s only miss came when DeHaan blocked her shot with 36 seconds left before halftime.

“I’ve never played against a center this big before,” said Langhorne, who has scored in double figures in 41 straight games. “Our coaches said she is going to block some shots, but still go at her, and that’s what we did today.”

Toliver broke the game open nearly seven minutes into the first half when she made three consecutive 3-pointers in 1:22, giving Maryland a 20-6 lead. Toliver’s fourth 3-pointer put the Terps ahead 40-22 with 4:59 left in the first half.

“Kristi shoots the ball … I don’t know if there is a better guard in the country that shoots the ball the way Kristi does,” Frese said. “When she can knock down shots like you saw, their matchup zone really started extending out on our guard play. So then, Crystal goes to work one-on-one in the post.”

In all, five Terps players scored in double figures. Backup junior center Jade Perry had 12 points and 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the season and the sixth of her career. Senior guard Shay Doron scored 11 points and junior forward Laura Harper added 10.

The Terps pulled down a season high 56 rebounds, including 18 on the offensive end. Michigan State had only 32 rebounds, and as a result suffered its worst defeat since a 97-49 loss to Penn State on Jan. 28, 2001.

“We want to represent the ACC and show its dominance,” Toliver said. “In our opinion, the ACC is the No. 1 conference in the country and we just tried to show that today by our play.”

The Spartans, who lost to the Terps 75-61 last year in the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands, were non-committal in endorsing the high-octane Terps as repeat national champions.

“Everyone is a different team every year,” said Michigan State guard Victoria Lucas-Perry, who led the Spartans with 20 points on 8-for-19 shooting. “They have a lot of returning players. We’re a different team so it’s hard to compare us, but they are definitely good and they showed it tonight.”

The largest crowd of the season (12,295), including former Terps running back LaMont Jordan, watched perhaps Maryland’s best performance of the season thus far. Jordan, now of the Oakland Raiders, donated $25,000 to the Maryland women’s basketball program last season.

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