2:00 PM ET, December 9, 2007
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Maryland closed a grueling stretch of 14 games in 31 days with one of its most physical challenges.Not only did the Terps rise to the challenge, they rolled to a blowout.Kristi Toliver had 15 points and added 11 assists, helping Maryland (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today, No. 3 AP) beat Temple 64-46 on Sunday.Crystal Langhorne added 14 points and six rebounds for the Terrapins (13-1), who jumped to an early 19-4 lead and led by as many as 21 points in the second half."I'm extremely pleased and proud, obviously, of this game, as well as the toughness that we have shown playing 14 games in 31 days," said Maryland coach Brenda Frese. "We have played 12 different conferences, so it's exciting. ... We're prepared and we're really coming out of this stretch with a tremendous amount of confidence."The Terps now have an 11-day respite from playing -- and they might need it after the Owls gave them one of their more physical games of the season."Other than the Rutgers game, this was probably the most physical game we've played," said Langhorne, who had 10 points in the first half as Maryland led 28-18.It was the lowest scoring first half of the season both offensively and defensively for the Terps, who led by as many as 21 points in the second half.Maryland had just 19 field goals, but made 24 of 32 free throws."It was a very physical game, but we kept our poise and composure and really did a tremendous job for 40 minutes," Frese said.Temple, which committed 25 fouls, got just nine free throws -- making six."We're a physical team, but we're not a team that plays dirty. I thought [the game] was officiated like it was dirty," said Temple coach Dawn Staley. "I don't like our team and players to be put into that kind of situation. We play hard, we outhustle our opponents. But play dirty, no, I would never teach my team that."Temple didn't help itself with its shooting, either. The Owls didn't score over the game's first five minutes and made just two of their first 15 shots.The Owls shot just 24 percent (6-of-25) in the first half and 32.8 percent for the game. Maryland shot 60 percent during that beginning stretch and 46.3 percent for the game.Toliver scored all her points in the second half after collecting seven assists in the first. It was Toliver's fourth double-double of the season and sixth of her career."She's the key. Anytime you have a point guard like Kristi you have to contain her because she can distribute the ball," Staley said.Also in double figures for Maryland was Marissa Coleman with 12 points. Laura Harper added nine points and seven rebounds.Maryland has now won three in a row since losing its only game of the season to Rutgers (No. 3 ESPN/USA Today, No. 4 AP) on Dec. 3. The Terps don't play again until Dec. 20."They have earned a well-deserved break, so we're going to get away from each other," Frese said of her team. "We're going to allow them to be students because I don't think the schedule has been very kind."Coleman said the team has enjoyed the hard schedule, but is looking forward to a break."It's been tough, but it's been fun," she said. "When we first saw the schedule, we were excited. We were happy because there wasn't a lot of time for practice. After we got into it, though, we were hoping for some practices."Ashley Morris scored 13 points and Shenita Landry had 10 for Temple.Langhorne has 1,810 points for her career, the third-player to reach that mark at Maryland. Toliver's assists moved her into fifth place all-time for the program with 417.Temple trailed 32-22 with 18 minutes to play before Maryland went on a 12-2 tear to go up 44-24 with 11 minutes left.The Owls got back to 51-39 with 6:32 to play, but Maryland scored nine points in a row for its biggest lead at 60-39 with 3:46 to play.
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