6:00 PM ET, December 30, 2006
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- As if top-ranked Maryland wasn't already deep enough, the Terrapins recently unveiled yet another talented player with the ability to take down the opposition: Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood.Wiley-Gatewood scored eight of her career-high 17 points during a 25-6 first-half run, and Maryland rolled past Marist 86-60 Saturday night to win the Terrapin Classic.Marissa Coleman scored 15 points, and Crystal Langhorne and Kristi Toliver had 11 apiece for the Terrapins (15-0), who finished with a 42-24 rebounding advantage. The defending national champions have won 21 straight, the longest active streak in the nation."Not only do they have a lot of depth, they're just extremely skilled," Marist coach Brian Giorgis said. "I haven't seen a team shoot like that and have so many different weapons, along with the weapons coming off the bench. You start talking to yourself."Maryland shot 63 percent, had five players score in double figures and two more chip in with 8 points apiece."I loved the display of unselfishness on the offensive end," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said.Meg Dahlman led Marist (9-4) with 12 points and Julianne Viani had 11.Wiley-Gatewood was playing in her third game with the Terrapins after sitting out a year following her transfer from Tennessee. The 5-foot-9 junior guard, who came off the bench to go 4-for-4 from the field and 7-for-8 at the foul line, provides further depth to a team that has all five starters back from last season."Sa'de brings so much to the table with the way she defends, the way she's unselfish and shoots the ball," Frese said.After Marist pulled even at 12 with 6 1/2 minutes elapsed, Coleman hit a 3-pointer to put the Terrapins ahead for good. Wiley-Gatewood followed with a jumper in the paint, Toliver added a 3-pointer and Jade Perry made a jump shot for a 22-12 lead.Rachele Fits answered with a layup for Marist, but successive 3-pointers by Coleman and Wiley-Gatewood expanded the margin to 14. It was 32-18 before Langhorne made two free throws and Wiley-Gatewood scored from beyond the arc to make it 37-18.Wiley-Gatewood has no complaint about coming off the bench; no matter what role she plays, she does it with enthusiasm."I try to bring more energy to the team, get everybody ready to play," she said."All of us couldn't wait for Sa'de to step on the floor. She brings a lot of energy and we feed off that," said Langhorne, the tournament MVP.The Terrapins led 48-25 at halftime after shooting 63 percent from the floor and outrebounding the Red Foxes 19-7.It was 59-35 in the second half before Wiley-Gatewood made two free throws and Ashleigh Newman sank a 3-pointer to boost Maryland's lead to 29.Maryland has won three tournaments this season: The BTI Classic, the Junkanoo Jam and the two-day Terrapin Classic, which the Terrapins began with a 92-57 rout of UNC-Greensboro on Friday.Maryland opens Atlantic Coast Conference play Wednesday at home against North Carolina State, then hosts No. 21 Michigan State on Saturday."This should give us a ton of confidence going into the real stuff, starting on Wednesday with ACC play," Frese said. "We're ready for the next challenge."