- The Washington Times - Friday, February 24, 2006

Freshman Marissa Coleman and the Maryland women’s basketball team put a fitting end on the program’s best conference season in more than a decade.

Coleman scored 20 points — 19 in the first half — as the No. 4 Terrapins pummeled Clemson 89-63 at Comcast Center in Maryland’s final ACC game.

The Terps (25-3, 12-2 ACC) clinched a share of second place in the conference, their best finish since 1992-93. Maryland also secured its first 12-win season in league play since 1991-92.

“To finish the ACC 12-2 just says a lot about this team,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “To be able to go through the wars in the best conference in the country is tremendous. … I think they’ve proven to a lot of people that they’re a team to be reckoned with.”

The Terps will be the No. 2 seed in next month’s ACC tournament if Duke defeats North Carolina tomorrow. Maryland will be the No. 3 seed if North Carolina wins.

Sophomore center Crystal Langhorne scored 16 points to surpass the 1,000-point plateau for her career. Langhorne reached the milestone in 60 games, the fastest in school history.

Teammate Shay Doron, who held the record, needed 64 games.

The Terps quickly buried the reeling Tigers (8-19, 2-11), who have lost nine straight and are headed for their second straight 20-loss season. Maryland scored the first 11 points, and when Clemson managed to close within 22-16, the Terps produced a 20-6 run to assure a victory.

Coleman was particularly efficient during the spurt, sinking three 3-pointers with the aid of a fine shooting touch as well as some open looks. She finished five of seven from 3-point range.

It was the latest impressive outing for the likely ACC rookie of the year, who entered the game ranked second in scoring (14.7) and first in rebounding (7.5) among the league’s freshmen.

“I didn’t think all of them were going to fall,” Coleman said. “A lot of times I pass up open looks and [assistant] coach [Jeff] Walz gets on me. Today, I just let it fly.”

Kristi Toliver and Jade Perry both scored 14 for Maryland, which received at least a point from everyone on the 10-player roster.

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