Terps end 3-game skid, rout Wake Cross loses starting role, but finishes with 17 points

COLLEGE PARK — COLLEGE PARK -- The Maryland women's basketball team broke through a three-game fog with a 74-49 win over Wake Forest last night that brightened its NCAA tournament hopes.

Maryland shot a season-best 54 percent from the field, placing five players in double figures, led by junior Stephanie Cross, who shook off a mini-slump with 17 points.


Cross, the team's leading scorer and rebounder, lost her starting slot last night and responded to the benching with her best game in two weeks.

"I was practicing hard but I wasn't playing well. We set goals and I was trying to follow through on the goals," said Cross.


Sonia Chase (McDonogh) narrowly missed the school's first triple double, scoring 10 points, pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds and dishing out eight assists.

With just eight healthy players, due to the absence of starter Kelley Gibson (torn knee ligament) and reserve Brandi Barnes (mononucleosis), the Terps (16-7, 7-6 in the ACC) have had to go even more basic than usual.

Barnes is expected to return before season's end, but in the interim, the Terps have been forced to alter their approach, so far with mixed results, witness the losses to Virginia, North Carolina and Duke -- the top three teams in the ACC.

"To lose Kelley and then eventually Brandi, we could have folded but we've shown a lot in ourselves," said Maryland coach Chris Weller.

With the win, the Terps moved into sole possession of fourth place in the ACC, one game ahead of Clemson and 1 1/2 games in front of North Carolina State, with three games to play, including road games at N.C. State on Saturday and at Clemson next week.

The Demon Deacons fell to 10-13 and 2-11.

Navy 64, Lafayette 60: Becky Dowling scored 16 points and had eight rebounds and Navy (20-4, 7-3 Patriot League) outscored Lafayette 12-3 over the final seven minutes to claim its first 20-win season.

The Midshipman led 35-29 at halftime, but the Leopards (10-13, 3-6) used a 16-5 run to take a 57-52 lead with 7: 15 left to play.


Joanne Groth added 14 points for Navy, which held a 32-23 edge in rebounds and scored 15 second-chance points.

Loyola 67, Iona 43: Mary Anne Kirsch scored a game-high 18 to go with 10 rebounds and five assists as the Greyhounds (7-15, 4-6) won a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game on the road.

Loyola outscored the Lady Gaels (6-16, 4-6) 13-4 to start the second half. Jina Mosley added 10 points for the Greyhounds.

Coppin State 63, Delaware State 61: Lisa Briggs scored 24 and Celena Falline came off the bench to score 16 as the host Lady Eagles (7-13) overcame a 12-point halftime deficit to win a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game.

Pub Date: 2/13/97