2:30 PM ET, March 19, 2006
Bryce Jordan Center, State College, Pennsylvania
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Maryland led Sacred Heart from the opening tip, dominated the paint and had too much talent for the Pioneers.Just what you'd expect from a No. 2 seed in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.The Terrapins, bypassed for a top seed when the tournament matchups were announced last week despite a No. 3 national ranking, pulled away in the second half of a 95-54 rout of 15th-seeded Sacred Heart on Sunday."Yeah, they're a national contender. I mean, there's not many weaknesses on there," Sacred Heart coach Ed Swanson said. "They play like a hungry team."Jade Perry led Maryland with 20 points and 10 rebounds and Laura Harper added 16 points and 13 boards. The Terps outrebounded the Pioneers 57-26, and outscored Sacred Heart in the paint 56-14."We wanted to come out and bring some energy on the defensive end by coming out in the press," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. "We were able to get some turnovers early. We also had the size advantage inside."Maryland was so dominant that even seldom-used reserves like Angel Ross, who had seen action in just 12 games coming into the contest, played eight minutes."Obviously to get that kind of quality rest is huge, especially with the turnaround," Frese said.The Terps will face St. John's, seeded seventh in the Albuquerque Region, in the second round on Tuesday.Maryland has had an impressive run already this year, defeating top-ranked North Carolina and No. 4 Duke. But the Terps had to settle for a No. 2 seed for the tourney, something that Frese expressed some displeasure about after the brackets were announced last week.The Terps have stuck with a "happy-to-be-here" attitude while in State College. On Sunday, they let their play do the talking."It definitely gets us in the flow," guard Kristi Toliver said. "We got that first day out of the way and we are ready to keep moving on."The loss ended Sacred Heart's 10-game winning streak. After winning the Northeast Conference to secure the school's first NCAA Tournament bid, Swanson knew his team would be decided underdogs against Maryland.Swanson will still go home a happy man anyway after his wife gave birth last week to the couple's first child -- 6-pound, 1-ounce Connor John Swanson -- the day after he found out that his team would be playing the Terps.Amanda Pape, the Northeast Conference's player of the year, led Sacred Heart with 16 points but shot just 5-of-16 from the field. Pape hit a one-handed 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer expired that got the Pioneers to within 47-33, pumping her fist and slapping a low-five with teammate as they headed to the locker room with big grins.The pesky Pioneers had whittled down a 20-point lead to the 14-point halftime deficit, raising hopes among their vocal contingent of fans who shouted "S-H-U!" during the game.Toliver ended any thoughts of a second-half comeback after hitting a 3-pointer to start the half. Shay Doron hit an acrobatic layup, falling down as the ball swished through the net with 14:22 left to give the Terps a 66-35 lead."I tell the kids all the time not to look up at the scoreboard, just to compete and play," Swanson said. "I don't think the score is indicative of how we played or how we competed."Doron added 17 points for Maryland, while Nicole Rubino had 10 points for Sacred Heart.
|FG Made-Attempted||20-62 (.323)||36-73 (.493)|
|3P Made-Attempted||9-23 (.391)||6-13 (.462)|
|FT Made-Attempted||5-8 (.625)||17-20 (.850)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||14 (0/0)||7 (0/0)|