- The Washington Times - Friday, January 9, 2009

Maryland opened ACC play with seven minutes of exceptional basketball. That was more than enough to take the spirit out of Wake Forest.

Kristi Toliver scored 22 points, Lynetta Kizer had 17 and the No. 14 Terrapins cruised to a 92-65 victory Thursday night at Comcast Center.

“It’s great to be able to see the statement that we made in our first ACC game,” coach Brenda Frese said. “What I was really pleased with was our defense. That really just got us clicking on all cylinders.”

Coming off a 45-33 loss at Richmond, Wake Forest extended its offensive funk against the Terps, missing its first 11 shots and committing five turnovers as Maryland rolled to a 20-0 lead.

“The biggest thing at the start was our offense,” Wake Forest coach Mike Petersen said. “You’re not going to stop Maryland from scoring, but the problem was we had zero push at the offense end, and that’s not us. When we play well, we have good push. The last two games, our push has not been good enough.”

Dee Liles grabbed 13 rebounds for the Terps (13-2, 1-0), who have won six straight. Maryland is 48-12 against the Demon Deacons, 7-0 since February 2003. Five players scored in double figures for the Terps, including Marah Strickland with 12. The most significant points, of course, came at the outset.

“You’re excited. For a lot of the players, this was their first ACC game,” Toliver said. “The fact that we started off extremely focused, executed really well, ran the floor, got back in transition, had defensive stops - I think we set the tone for this ACC run we’re about to have.”

Corrine Groves led Wake Forest with 17 points. The Demon Deacons (12-2, 0-1) have dropped two in a row.

By the time Brittany Waters got Wake Forest on the board with a 3-pointer with 12:59 left in the first half, six players had scored for the Terps and Liles had eight rebounds. Waters’ basket sparked a 12-4 run, but Maryland answered with a layup by Liles and a 3-pointer by Strickland to boost the margin to 17.

Minutes later, Toliver sank a 3-pointer to make it 42-21. It was 46-28 at halftime. By then, Kizer had 13 points, and Toliver and Strickland each had 10.

Wake Forest stayed within 20 in the second half until Toliver hit successive jumpers to start a 21-6 run that made it 84-49.

VCU 67, GEORGE MASON 43: La’Tavia Rorie scored 17 points to lead the Rams (11-3, 1-1 CAA) to a win against the Patriots (2-11, 0-2) in Richmond.

VCU dominated the first eight minutes of the second half, turning a 30-20 halftime advantage into a 50-26 lead with 12:38 to go. Brittney Wilkins led George Mason with 13 points.

FLORIDA ST. 67, VIRGINIA TECH 63: Cierra Bravard came off the bench to score 14 points to help the Seminoles (13-4) beat the Hokies (8-6) in Blacksburg, Va., in the ACC opener for both teams.

Utahya Drye scored a game-high 18 points for Virginia Tech.

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