MIAMI -- For a brief stretch, Florida International hung with Maryland before falling to the eighth-ranked Terrapins.
The Panthers withstood a quick Terrapins blitz, rallied and tied the game but eventually got worn down in their 84-52 loss Friday night."For the most part they are better than we are but they are not 32 points better," Florida International coach Cindy Russo said. "We looked a little pathetic at times. That is shameful."Laurin Mincy hit consecutive 3-pointers during a four-minute span late in the first half that helped expand a one-point lead to 33-22 with 6:04 remaining."The two 3s were really crucial," Mincy said. "I think it kind of put a dagger on them, although they kept playing."Mincy and Lynetta Kizer scored 15 points each to lead Maryland (6-0).The Terrapins expanded a 44-30 lead at halftime with an 18-7 spurt in the opening 6:41 of the second half.Alyssa Thomas scored six points during the run and Alicia DeVaughn's inside field goal with 13:19 remaining capped the surge and gave the Terrapins a 62-37 advantage.Jerica Corley scored 19 of her 24 points in the first half to lead Florida International (2-3)."We weren't intimidated," Coley said. "We were excited to play a really good team. We knew they were really good. We take from the good things that we did and build from there."Thomas finished with 12 points and Tianna Hawkins scored all 13 of her points in the first half."My teammates did a good job of finding the open (player) inside and we did a pretty decent job of finishing," said Hawkins, who shot 6-of-6 from the field. "I had good focus and my teammates helped me for the open layups."Kizer became the 19th player to score 1,300 points in school history.The Terrapins benefited from their size advantage and repeatedly attacked the basket in the opening minutes. Thomas and Hawkins each hit two field goals in the first 2:43 as the Terrapins opened a 10-1 lead. The Panthers missed their first five shots helping Maryland to its quick start."I love the fact that we're really unselfish with the inside-outside game," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. "Any time you can have five players on the floor that can score, defend and rebound you're going to have a very good team. Obviously, they are a lot of fun to watch."Florida International outscored the Terrapins 16-7 in the next 6:21 and tied it at 17-17 on Kamika Idom's basket with 10:56 remaining. Coley keyed the Panthers' spurt with 12 straight points during the span.Maryland, which outrebounded Florida International 35-23, closes its two-game set in Miami against Cal State Bakersfield on Saturday."I'm excited for this team but it's early," Frese said. "We've got to continue to stay hungry. We've got to keep getting better."