7:00 PM ET, December 22, 2005
FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) -- Maryland's defense forced 18 straight misses. That was more than enough to decide a scrappy, physical game.Beginning late in the first half, the Terrapins' tenacious man-to-man held George Mason without a field goal for more than 10 minutes. The Patriots shot just 20 percent for the game in sixth-ranked Maryland's 70-33 victory Thursday night."It wasn't the prettiest game that I've ever seen," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. "They were very scrappy, very aggressive. Our defense held us in there."Ashleigh Newman matched a career-high with 21 points, and Marissa Coleman added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Terrapins (10-1), who have won six straight and are outscoring opponents by an average of 32 points. Maryland's only loss was to No. 1 Tennessee.Moni Akintunde scored nine points to lead the Patriots (4-5)."I thought we did a pretty good job defensively to hold them to 70, which is probably 25 under their average," George Mason coach Debbie Taneyhill said. "But unfortunately they held us to 30 under our average. We have to do better scoring."Maryland had a 35-19 lead at halftime. They've won all three meetings with their D.C.-area neighbors from the Colonial Athletic Association.George Mason (4-5) has a victory over another Atlantic Coast Conference school, Miami, this season, but the Patriots could only stay with the Terrapins for about 14 minutes.Jessica Smith's layup cut Maryland's lead to 22-17 with 6:45 remaining, but Newman scored seven points in a 13-2 half-ending run in which the Terrapins' defense repeatedly kept George Mason from getting decent looks at the basket.Newman had 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting at the half, doubling the output of any George Mason player. The Patriots shot 28 percent in the first half, with Jen Daniels, their only starting senior, missing all four of her attempts.George Mason missed its first 10 shots of the second half, and Maryland quickly pushed the lead to 20."My teammates were getting doubled in the post, and when they were kicking out to me, I had wide open shots," said Newman, who left the game early with a sore back after a hard foul in the second half.Turnovers remain a concern for the Terrapins, who committed 19 as they played again without point guard Kristi Toliver. Toliver has missed three of the last four games with a leg injury."We need to get a healthy Kristi Toliver back," Frese said. "But until we do we have to take better care of the ball."