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No. 6 Terps hold off Virginia for 7th straight win

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Maryland played near-perfect basketball
during a 21-1 run in which the Terrapins turned a close game
against Virginia into a potential rout.

"Everyone was hitting 3s, playing defense, getting shots. It
was so exciting," forward Laura Harper said. "That's the kind of
basketball you want to play the entire game."

Unfortunately for the No. 6 Terrapins, they couldn't sustain the
pace. After building a 21-point lead in the first half Sunday,
Maryland weathered a spirited Virginia comeback before managing an
85-71 victory.

The Cavaliers used a 12-6 spurt to close to 72-66 before the
Terrapins made nine free throws in the final 4 minutes to pull
away. Maryland went 27-for-34 at the line compared to 11-for-15 for
the Cavaliers.

"In the second half we beat them on the floor, but the free
throws made the difference," Virginia coach Debbie Ryan said.
"You can't do much about that."

Shay Doron scored 23 points, Harper had 17 points and 10
rebounds, and Kristi Toliver scored 16 for the Terrapins (21-2, 8-1
Atlantic Coast Conference). The victory assured Maryland a winning
record in the ACC for the first time since 1996-97.

Tiffany Sardin had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Sharnee Zoll
had 16 points and 12 assists for Virginia (13-8, 2-7). The
Cavaliers have lost four straight and seven of nine.

"I thought we stayed right with them," Ryan said. "It was
just that one lull that put us in a hole that was difficult to
climb out of. But I thought we did a good job climbing."

The 21-1 run made it 38-17, but it took a late surge to ensure
the Terrapins their first regular-season sweep of the Cavaliers
since 1989.

"Against ranked opponents you can't let a lead slip like
that," Harper said. "I think it's something we need to focus on,
but overall I'm not concerned."

Maryland coach Brenda Frese wasn't so quick to brush aside the
near-collapse.

"We need to find a way to keep our team in the flow, like we
were in the first half," she said.

Down 43-28 at halftime, the Cavaliers got three baskets from
Sardin and a 3-pointer from Zoll in an 11-4 run that made it 47-39.
Minutes later, Takisha Granberry scored four straight points to
make it 54-47 with 12:20 left.

Then, after Maryland went up 63-51, the Cavaliers mounted one
final comeback bid.

There were five ties in the opening seven minutes before Toliver
hit a 3-pointer to put Maryland up for good at 15-12.

It was 17-16 before Doron hit a 3-pointer, received an assist on
a Crystal Langhorne layup and sank a jumper from the foul line.
After a Virginia timeout, Toliver scored from beyond the arc and
Doron made two foul shots before a free throw by Granberry
interrupted the 13-point run.

Marissa Coleman then hit a long-range jumper to spark a
nine-point spurt that made it 38-17. Granberry answered with a
runner in the lane to end a Virginia field-goal drought that lasted
nearly 7 minutes.

"We just went cold," Ryan said. "We have a tendency to do
that."

It was the first of three games for Virginia against teams
ranked in the top six. The Cavaliers face No. 2 Duke on Friday and
top-ranked North Carolina on Feb. 12.