BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Kristi Toliver didn't get discouraged
after shooting just 1-for-6 from the field in the first half.
Toliver scored 17 points, including 10 straight for Maryland
down the stretch, and the sixth-ranked Terrapins beat Virginia Tech (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today, No. 25 AP) 68-62 Monday night.
Toliver's 3-pointer broke a 54-all tie with 4:03 to play. She
also hit four free throws in the final 90 seconds to help Maryland
(17-2, 4-1 ACC) win its third straight.
"I just went out and tried to stay confident with my shot
because I struggled in the first half," Toliver said. "Somebody
needed to step up. Tonight it was just me."
Virginia Tech coach Beth Dunkenberger knew that Toliver would be
a challenge to the Hokies (14-4, 1-4).
"Actually the last thing I said was keep a hand in (Toliver's)
face," said Dunkenberger.
Crystal Langhorne had a game-high 21 points and 12 rebounds for
the Terps. Langhorne's presence inside forced Virginia Tech to
double-cover her, leaving Toliver open.
"Kristi always steps up and wants to take big shots," Maryland
coach Brenda Frese said. "You can't just key on one person on this
team. That makes us a lot more tougher to defend."
Marissa Coleman added nine points and 11 rebounds for Maryland.
Dawn Chriss led the Hokies with 19 points. Kerri Gardin added 15
points and 10 rebounds, and Kirby Copeland added 13 points and
Carrie Mason nine.
Charmaine Carr gave Maryland its first lead since the game's
opening minutes, scoring off a rebound to cap a 13-3 run and put
the Terps ahead 43-42 with 13:49 left. Three minutes earlier,
Copeland's layup gave the Hokies their largest lead at 39-30.
Maryland led only once in the first half, 4-2 after a layup Jade
Perry. The Terps scored closed the opening period with a 5-0 run to
cut their deficit to 27-24 at the break.