COLLEGE PARK -- For a half last night, it looked as if the Maryland women's basketball team might break the spell Virginia seems to have cast on it over the past three seasons. The Terps led by as many as four points and trailed by only three at halftime.
But the ninth-ranked Cavaliers pulled out their usual magic in the second half to rout the Terps, 77-53, ending Maryland's four-game winning streak before a season-high crowd of 5,750 -- the largest in three years.
The win was Virginia's 10th straight over Maryland since a 70-66 Terps victory in the 1992-93 season and clinched its sixth straight Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season title.
"We can see why they're the best team in the league and in the Top 10. They're quick, they're strong, they have it all and I'm sure they're very optimistic heading into the tournament," said Maryland coach Chris Weller.
Maryland (13-13, 7-9), which has had trouble matching up with Virginia inside recently, did well there last night, holding senior center Wendy Palmer, who scored 39 last year in College Park, to 14 points.
But the Cavaliers (22-5, 13-3) did their damage in the backcourt, where junior point guard Tora Suber had a game-high 26 points, and reserve guard Mimi McKinney chipped in 20, going 3-for-3 from three-point range. Suber had 16 points in the first half.
The key was an 8-0 run Virginia run after halftime that stretched a three-point advantage into 11 points. The Cavaliers delivered a 13-4 run a few minutes later to put the game out of reach.