What a difference a week makes.
Last Thursday, the Maryland women’s basketball team was stunned when unranked Virginia Tech handed the Terps their second straight loss. Maryland sorely missed leading scorer Alyssa Thomas, who sat out with a sprained thumb.
Thomas was back on the court Thursday night and No. 9 Maryland got back in the win column after trouncing Boston College 86-44 before 3,607 at Comcast Center.
The 42-point margin of victory is the Terps’ most in an ACC game since Jan. 6, 2008, a span of 70 conference games.
“I thought the first half was by far the most inspired, best effort intensity, that we’ve given up to date,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. ” It’s encouraging. [We had] three of our best practices leading up to the game today. I thought [we] showed a lot of character from our last time out.”
From the beginning, things were different for the Terps (19-3, 6-3 ACC). Senior point guard Anjale Barret found Thomas cutting to the hoop for an easy layup just six seconds into the game.
That sparked an 11-2 Maryland run over the first 2:55, with Thomas scoring six points.
If the sprained left thumb that kept her out of Maryland’s last game— or the heavy tape-job on her shooting hand— bothered Thomas, she didn’t show it. Thomas finished with 14 points in her return.
“It felt really good, it didn’t seem to really effect me out there,” Thomas said.
“She brings so much to our team,” sophomore guard Laurin Mincy said. “She brings a lot of energy. She picks us up. And when she’s doing her thing, we just follow her lead.”
Perhaps the only thing hurting the Terps Thursday was a cheerleader’s shoulder from hurling t-shirts into the stands after each of the team’s 10 3-pointers.
Mincy was responsible for half of those — hitting a career-best five 3-pointers on her way to 16 points — and potentially a cheerleader’s tendinitis.
“I would like to credit our post players,” Mincy said. “They were being double-teamed down low. We worked on a little inside out in practice and we executed well. They were able to find us in open spots and we were able to knock down shots.”
Also scoring in double figures for Maryland were senior center Lynetta Kizer (12 points) and freshman guard Brene Moseley (16).
Freshman forward Joy Caracciolo had 10 points to led Boston College (5-17, 0-9).
Maryland dominated both ends of the court in the first half and went to the locker room with a commanding 51-13 lead.
After allowing Virginia Tech’s ACC-worst offense to score 25 points above its 49.4 average, the Terps allowed its third fewest points of the season Thursday.
Maryland kept Boston College scoreless for a span of 9:57 (8:55 to close the first half and 1:02 to start the second) as its already sizable lead grew from 31-13 to 51-15.
“Specifically in the first half, we were really locked in. Our help side defense, being able to help one another, was tremendous. We communicated extremely well,” Frese said. “I thought we got better defensively tonight.”
Frese said she was “disappointed” with the second half in which Boston College went on a 20-7 run to crawl within 25.
“We’ve got to get better in terms of putting a 40-minute game together,” Frese said. “I thought we had too many lapses in the second half that we’ve got to improve on.”
But the coach didn’t let the second half overshadow a dominant performance.
“We worked extremely hard since [the Virginia Tech] game understanding the importance of how you start and coming out with great energy and intensity,” Frese said. “I think we did that.”