Maryland reaches Terrapin Classic championship game

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Lynetta Kizer scored 10 of her 15 points in the opening eight minutes and Maryland (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 18 AP) cruised past La Salle 83-45 on Tuesday for its 10th consecutive victory.

The Terrapins (11-1) led 12-0 and 34-9 in the first half against the overmatched Explorers (4-7). Maryland will face 17th-ranked St. John's, an 81-66 winner over Liberty, in the championship game of the Terrapin Classic on Wednesday.

Freshman forward Alyssa Thomas scored 14 points for Maryland, her ninth successive game in double figures, and Diandra Tchatchouang added 11.

Kizer finished with nine rebounds to help the Terrapins to a 51-36 advantage on the boards, the 12th time in 12 games Maryland outrebounded its opponent.

Ebonee Jones had 18 points on 5-for-21 shooting and collected nine rebounds for La Salle. Ashley Gale scored 14 but missed her first six shots and finished 3-for-15, including 2-for-13 from 3-point range.

The first meeting between the schools since 1980 was a mismatch from the outset. Maryland scored on seven of its first nine possessions and built an 18-2 lead while holding La Salle to 1-for-8 shooting with five turnovers.

After a 3-pointer by Chelsea Conner got the Explorers to 24-9, Kizer and Tchatchouang each made two baskets in a 10-0 run that put the Terrapins up by 25.

A 10-3 spurt by La Salle made it 37-19, but Maryland boosted its lead to 43-21 at halftime and increased the margin to 29 points with 12:59 left.

Terps coach Brenda Frese cleared the bench early in the second half to keep her starters fresh for Wednesday.