Terps' hot hand from field leads them to easy victory

The Baltimore Sun

College Park -There were plenty of smiles on Maryland's bench last night after the 13th-ranked Terrapins' 87-66 win over North Carolina State.

The Terps (18-4, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) shot 56.7 percent from the field, including 55.6 percent from three-point range, their highest percentages in conference play. They held the Wolfpack to 37.7 percent shooting. And one of their popular former teammates - center Laura Harper, now with the Sacramento Monarchs - had her jersey retired after the game.

But coach Brenda Frese had some bad news, after the team's unsatisfactory 9-for-16 (56.3 percent) performance from the free-throw line.

"There will be some extra cardio on Saturday, to understand that we've got to step up and make free throws," Frese said. "We're going to have to make them in critical situations when games come down to one possession like Florida State."

Nine of Maryland's 10 players scored last night in front of 6,291 inside Comcast Center, and five reached double figures, led by senior Kristi Toliver's 15 points and sophomore Drey Mingo's season-high 13 points. Senior forward Marissa Coleman scored 14, moving past Shay Doron (1,878) into third place on the Terps' career scoring list. She has 1,880 points and needs 49 more to move past Vicky Bullett into second.

N.C. State - whose players and coaches have endured so much since Jan. 24, when their longtime coach, Kay Yow, passed away after a long battle with breast cancer - suffered its most lopsided loss of the season. The Wolfpack (9-13, 1-6) took No. 4 Duke and No. 9 North Carolina to overtime last month and ranked third in the ACC in field-goal percentage defense, but it was overwhelmed from the start.

Maryland led 48-32 at halftime after shooting 70.4 percent from the field - the Terps' best performance of any half this season. Maryland converted 19 of 27 shots, including 5 of 9 from three-point range. Seven different players attempted a shot, and all seven made at least one.

"We were changing defenses, and we were actually trying to give them different looks," N.C. State interim coach Stephanie Glance said. "I'm not sure they shoot 70 percent in their drills in practice, with no defense. They're a very talented team, but they were shooting the ball exceptionally well."

Indeed, Maryland opened the game with its two post players - junior Dee Liles (13 points, 11 rebounds) and freshman Lynetta Kizer (12 points) - sinking long jump shots. Then Toliver, whose three-pointer at the buzzer lifted Maryland to a 72-71 win at No. 15 Florida State on Monday, took over, hitting four shots from beyond the arc in a five-minute span.

NO. 13 MARYLAND (18-4, 6-2 ACC) @BC (17-6, 5-3)

Monday, 7 p.m.

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