Maryland cruises to 54-point rout of Northern Iowa

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- After enduring two straight close games and a wicked virus that spread throughout the locker room, Maryland was in desperate need of an easy win.

Northern Iowa proved to be the ideal foe.

Marissa Coleman had 22 points and 12 rebounds and four other players scored in double figures for the Terrapins (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today, No. 3 AP) in a 91-37 rout Friday night.

It was a welcome breather for Maryland (12-1), which was coming off a loss to Rutgers and a narrow victory over Middle Tennessee State. In that latter game, coach Brenda Frese was sidelined with a stomach virus and several players operated at less than 100 percent.

"We needed a game like this to recover," Frese said.

"I think for all of us, we weren't happy with our last two performances," Coleman said. "We wanted to go out there and play as hard as we could with a lot of energy and emotion. When we play with that kind of energy and emotion, there are not too many teams that can play with us."

Certainly not Northern Iowa (4-3).

"There's no question that they have all the pieces to win the national championship," Panthers first-year coach Tanya Warren said. "If they stay healthy, I'd be shocked if they didn't win it."

Laura Harper had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Terrapins, who scored the game's first 13 points, then used an 18-0 run to go up 37-9 with 5:57 left in the first half.

Up 48-22 at halftime, Maryland used 10 straight points to increase the margin to 36. With eight minutes left, Maryland led 80-28.

"We're definitely on the road to recovery," Frese said. "Much better energy; this is the level we're capable of playing at."

Crystal Langhorne scored 14, Marah Strickland 13 and Kristi Toliver added 12 for Maryland.

Traci Ollendieck led Northern Iowa with 14 points. The Panthers shot 26 percent and were outrebounded 52-19.

A year ago, the Terrapins led 35-8 at halftime in a 77-33 blowout of Northern Iowa.

This game wasn't much different. While the Panthers missed their first six shots and committed three turnovers, Maryland got points from four different players in building a 13-0 lead.

It was 19-9 before Harper made three baskets in the 18-point blitz. Warren attempted to stem the onslaught with a series of timeouts, but the strategy only delayed the inevitable.

Maryland shot 58 percent in the first half, forced 10 turnovers and held a 19-9 rebounding advantage.