- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 26, 2006

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Maryland never trailed as the Terrapins dismantled defending NCAA women’s basketball champion Baylor 82-63 last night.

In a duel of top-notch centers, it was Crystal Langhorne who had by far the better game with 34 points and 15 rebounds to lead second-seeded Maryland to tomorrow’s Elite Eight against the winner of last night’s late game between No.8 Boston College and No.5 Utah.

The Terrapins (31-4) took control early, as Langhorne abused Baylor All-American Sophia Young, scoring the game’s first eight points.

Langhorne also asserted her presence in the paint with four rebounds in the first four minutes. She finished 14-for-18 from the field.

“Our coaches just stressed for us to have energy coming out,” Langhorne said. “I get really excited when I get played one-on-one because I’m so used to being doubled.”

Meanwhile, the third-seeded Bears (26-7), in their third straight Sweet 16, looked like the rookies, missing 13 of their first 14 shots in the first seven minutes of the game.

That allowed the Terrapins to jump out to a quick 14-2 lead.

Baylor systematically cut into that lead, finally tying the score at 25-25 with 5:15 left in the half.

Although Maryland suffered a big loss with 4:19 left in the first half when forward Jade Perry went out with her third foul and the game still tied, the Terrapins picked up their game, ending the half on an 8-1 run to take a 35-28 lead.

They ended the first 20 minutes on a high note. Tight defense forced Baylor point guard Angela Tisdale to double dribble with four-tenths of a second left. Maryland’s Shay Doron took the ball and heaved it overhand three-quarters the length of the court, finding Langhorne under the basket. She laid it in off the glass, causing the Terrapins to break out celebratory chest bumps before heading to the locker room.

Langhorne notched 20 points and eight rebounds in the first half while her Baylor counterpart Young had 10 points and just two rebounds. Young finished with 26 points and nine rebounds.

The Terrapins didn’t slow down after the break, scoring the first five points of the second half to equal their biggest lead of the game at 40-28. Marissa Coleman then had a steal and went the length of the court for a layup, pushing the margin to 14.

That advantage increased to 49-30 when Coleman scooped up a loose ball and knocked down a 10-foot jumper with 15:30 left.

From that point, it was just a matter of trading baskets and running down the clock, a task with which Maryland was quite adept.

The Terrapins extended their lead to 67-47 with 7:26 left when Kristi Toliver hit a 3-pointer that bounced high off the rim and dropped in the basket.

Coleman joined Langhorne in double figures for Maryland with 15 points and Toliver added 12.

“This team executed the game plan to perfection,” Terrapins coach Brenda Frese said. “It’s amazing to know that this team defeated the defending national champions.”

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