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Alyssa Thomas helps No. 6 Maryland hand Michigan its first loss
Maryland got all it could handle from Michigan, and Terrapins coach Brenda Frese couldn’t have been happier.
Alyssa Thomas scored 24 points, and No. 6 Maryland used a late surge to top the previously unbeaten Wolverines 74-65 Wednesday night in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
The Terrapins won their previous seven games with relative ease, so Frese wasn’t sure how her players would react in a close game. She got an answer, and although there were a few anxious moments, it was worth it.
“Just a tremendous win,” Frese said. “What I liked about this game is from start to finish we had to work. I thought we learned a lot about ourselves. It was a game that we had to compete and go after it for 40 minutes.”
The Terrapins (8-0) saved the best for last.
Maryland led 60-59 with six minutes left before Laurin Mincy drilled a 3-pointer, Lynetta Kizer added a three-point play and Anjale Barrett made two free throws for a nine-point cushion with 3:52 remaining.
“I just loved how we were able to finish the game,” Frese said. “We were able to wear them out and finish the game strong.”
Hawkins had 10 points and 16 rebounds, and Mincy contributed 11 points and eight rebounds for the Terrapins.
Thomas, who left late in the second half with a leg cramp, said, “We’ve been waiting for somebody to challenge us. To get the opportunity on our home court, we were real excited about that.”
Maryland outrebounded Michigan 51-28 and scored 18 fast-break points, but the Wolverines compensated by committing only seven turnovers and making nine 3-pointers.
“We knew rebounding and transition was going to be extremely difficult,” Michigan coach Kevin Borseth said. “It’s a good learning experience for our kids. It’s something we have to build off as we move forward.”
Michigan went ahead for the first time when Rachel Sheffer opened the second half with a jumper in the lane to make it 38-36. A 3-pointer by Reynolds upped the lead to 43-40, but successive three-point plays by Alicia DeVaughn and Thomas put the Terrapins back in front. DeVaughn then hit a follow-shot for a 48-43 advantage, and after a Michigan timeout, Thomas capped the 10-0 run with a driving layup.
By David A. Clarke Jr.
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