No. 9 Terps women apply choke to beat No. 7 Penn State, 85-58


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- In Chris Weller's mind, her ninth-ranked Maryland women's basketball team will play the perfect game only when they commit fewer than 10 turnovers and grab 10 more rebounds than their opponents.

By that definition, the Terps did not play the perfect game last night here against No. 7 Penn State. But they did nearly everything else perfectly, in trouncing the Nittany Lions, 85-58, before 2,871 disbelieving fans.

Maryland (5-0), who broke Penn State's 29-game regular-season home winning streak, applied intense defensive pressure to force 29 Nittany Lion turnovers and hold Penn State to 31 percent shooting from the floor.

"We were relying on our defense as our primary offensive weapon and we were pleased with the way it worked out," said Weller.

The win will almost certainly move the Terps into their highest position in the polls since their No. 5 ranking at the end of the 1988-89 season, the last time they were in the Final Four.

Maryland dominated the slower, less quick Nittany Lions (4-2) on both ends of the court, handing the home team their worst drubbing here since the 1988-89 Terps beat them by 34.

The Terps stole entry passes into the middle, then triggered their fast break for easy transition points.

Junior post players Michele Andrew, a 6-1 native of Helsinki, Finland, and Jessie Hicks, a 6-4 center from Richmond, Va., were the benefactors of the Maryland possessions. They constantly got open inside and also hit tough shots when guarded.

Andrew scored 19 points, pulled down nine rebounds and clamped down on Penn State senior Susan Robinson, a 6-1 All-America candidate, who had just eight points.

"I was so excited about this game because I've heard so much about Penn State," said Andrew. "There wasn't any magic, just regular defense like in practice."

Hicks scored 14 points and yanked down seven rebounds to anchor the middle.

"By us playing hard and playing intense defense, we weren't too shocked [with their performance]," said Hicks. "It was just our defense and intensity."

"Maryland has incredible team speed on the court and their two inside players killed our post players," said Penn State coach Rene Portland.

The Terps jumped out early and never let up, taking a 44-28 halftime lead, as they shot a blistering 65 percent from the floor for the half and took Penn State out of its zone defense.

"In the beginning of the game, we did play some decent zone defense," said Portland. "They just made some incredible shots."

In the second half, Maryland committed 12 of their 25 total tTC turnovers and shot just 32 percent from the field.

But the Terps led by as much as 30, as they constantly forced the Nittany Lions into turnovers.

"The last thing we said coming out of the locker room was 'May the best team win,' " said Weller.

And so they did.

MARYLAND -- Andrew 7-11 5-6 19, Lee 5-8 0-1 10, Hicks 5-12 4-6 14, Mizrachi 5-7 0-0 12, Colleton 3-10 2-2 8, Boles 2-4 1-4 5, Christy 3-7 4-5 11, Panek 1-1 0-0 2, Rimkus 0-0 0-0 0, Barnes 0-1 0-0 0, Adams 0-2 4-4 4. Totals 31-63 20-28 85.

PENN STATE -- Robinson 3-8 2-3 8, Dougherty 1-6 2-2 4, Phillips 3-9 6-9 12, Eikenberg 2-4 2-2 6, Coleman 1-9 3-4 5, Kretchmar 0-3 0-0 0, Mack 2-5 4-4 8, Holloway 0-3 0-0 0, Henry 2-5 0-1 4, Malsey 2-3 0-1 4, Donovan 2-5 1-2 5, Lazor 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 19-62 20-28 58.

Halftime--Maryland 44, Penn State 28. 3-Point goals--Maryland 3-6 (Mizrachi 2-3, Christy 1-3), Penn State 0-6 (Dougherty 0-1, Kretchmar 0-1, Mack 0-1, Donovan 0-1, Eikenberg 0-2). Fouled out--Phillips. Rebounds--Maryland 46 (Andrew 9), Penn State 40 (Dougherty 9). Assists--Maryland 19 (Mizrachi 6), Penn State 12 (Eikenberg 4). Total fouls--Maryland 25, Penn State 20. A--2,871.

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