BOSTON -- Alyssa Thomas had 17 points and nine rebounds, Kim Rodgers scored 16 points and Maryland (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP) made up for a rough shooting game with strong defense to beat Boston College 78-69 on Sunday.
The Terrapins (23-6, 9-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) went just 3-3 in their last six regular season games after winning seven straight.Stefanie Murphy led Boston College with 21 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out in the final minute. The Eagles (18-11, 5-9) lost four of their final five games of the regular season.Anjale Barrett had 15 points and Lynetta Kizer 14 for Maryland, which entered the day needing help to get one of the top four spots and a bye in the upcoming league tournament.Maryland shot just 42.4 percent from the floor, but held the Eagles to 39.1 percent and forced 17 turnovers.Eagles leading scorer Carolyn Swords, who entered averaging 17.4 and 8.8 rebounds, was held scoreless in the opening half, but finished with 14 points and 11 boards.Rodgers' second 3-pointer in the opening 2 1/2 minutes of the second half gave Maryland a 47-34 lead. The Terps pushed their advantage to 53-38 on Thomas' fastbreak layup with 14:38 to play.The Terps' defensive pressure took over from there. BC's possessions were continually challenged, many of the shots coming as the shot clock was winding down.The Eagles did close to 63-55 on Swords' two free throws with just over 8 minutes left, but Maryland had a quick pair of baskets to regain its double-digit edge.The Eagles won the other meeting of the season between the schools, 78-69 in Maryland on January 13.The Terps, who held BC to 36 percent shooting (9 of 25) and made it tough for the Eagles' guards to get any penetration in the first half, led 38-28 at intermission.The Eagles committed 11 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes and, many times, had to work the ball around for nearly all of the shot clock before getting shots, with a good number of those being forced, low percentage shots.Maryland scored the first 10 points of the game before BC climbed back, tying it at 23 on Kerri Shields' 3-pointer from the right corner with 5 1/2 minutes left. But the Terps outscored the Eagles 15-5 over the final 5:03, capping it with Rodgers' 3 at the buzzer.