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Terps dominate early, cruise late in victory over Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- In its drive for what it hopes will
yield a second straight national championship, No. 6 Maryland got
two things it needed on Sunday.

Crystal Langhorne had 19 points and 15 rebounds and Marissa
Coleman added 18 points and 12 rebounds as No. 6 Maryland dominated
most of the way, then let up early and allowed Virginia to make
what could have been a blowout a respectable 83-74 loss.

With the victory came a lesson.

"I thought we kind of got slow, lethargic," Terrapins coach
Brenda Frese said of the second half, when Virginia outscored the
defending national champions 47-36.

"We've obviously had a tendency to do that this season," she
said. "It's something that we're trying to correct to be a
dominant team. We need to focus for 40 minutes."

Langhorne also had four assists as Maryland (24-3, 8-3 Atlantic
Coast Conference) finished with a 52-42 edge in rebounding. The
Terps led 63-35 with 14:21 remaining.

"When you get a lead like that, I think sometimes you just
relax and loosen up a little bit," Langhorne, who missed seven of 10
free throws, said. "I think when we're up 30 points, we just need
to focus on getting defensive stops and executing plays."

Coleman agreed and said Maryland hasn't played its best yet.

"Definitely not. We need to play a complete 40-minute game,"
she said.

Virginia (14-11, 3-7) had its two-game winning streak snapped
and lost at its new John Paul Jones Arena for the fifth time in 16
games this season. The Cavaliers saw their hopes of making a push
for the NCAA tournament damaged by another lopsided loss.

Monica Wright led Virginia with 19 points and Sharnee Zoll had
14. Wright said a season that has been filled with adversity has
also brought valuable experience.

"You don't learn about yourself or learn about your teammates
or the people you love until you go through adversity and you go
through hard times, and no matter what happens, we've gone through
a lot of hard times this year, and no one has ever folded, no one
has ever tried to leave or pointed fingers at each other," she
said.

"We've all taken the blame on ourselves and carried each
other."

Virginia had five players with at least two fouls by halftime as
it tried without much success to defend the bigger Terrapins. No
one struggled more than scoring leader Lyndra Littles, who finished
3-for-16 from the field with 14 points and 16 rebounds.

"I thought they did a good jop playing her tendencies,"
Virginia coach Debbie Ryan said. "She was trying to force the
puzzle piece the way she wanted it, and it wasn't quite the way it
was supposed to be. ... She did a lot better in the second half."

For Ryan, the frustration finally boiled over and she was
whistled for a technical, which she said was her first in 15 years
and came after building up over time.

"I don't even know how to get a technical," she said. "I was
just trying to stand up for my players. That's all I was trying to
do. I didn't say anything disrespectful."

Kristi Toliver, a Harrisonburg Va., native who broke Ralph
Sampson's career scoring records in high school, added 11 points
for the defending national champions. They led 47-27 at halftime
and never let the Cavaliers rally until it was too late.

Virginia shot 35 percent despite grabbing 20 offensive rebounds.