No. 6 Maryland takes control early, runs past UNC

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland made it clear quite early that this game against North Carolina wasn't going to be anything like the last one.

Alyssa Thomas had 20 points and 14 rebounds, and the sixth-ranked Terrapins established command soon after the opening tip in an 84-64 rout Friday night.

Alicia DeVaughn scored 14 and Laurin Mincy had 13 for the Terrapins, who never trailed after yielding the game's first point. Maryland led 11-1 after 4 minutes, 53-29 at halftime and 73-40 with 10 minutes to go.

Last month, Maryland needed overtime to squeeze out a 78-72 win at North Carolina. This time, the outcome was apparent almost immediately.

"We were really able to dominate right away," Terps coach Brenda Frese said. "I thought we came with the knockout punch early that they were never able to recover from."

The victory pushed the Terrapins into a third-place tie with Georgia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference, although Maryland (24-4, 11-4) gets the tiebreaker by virtue of its sweep of the Yellow Jackets. The top four teams receive a first-round bye in next week's ACC tournament.

After beating Duke and North Carolina in the span of six days, the Terrapins are riding a hot streak at just the right time.

"This is how you want to finish," Frese said. "You want to be peaking come March, and this is where this team is at."

Maryland went 8 for 10 from 3-point range and finished with a 49-32 rebounding advantage. It was the Terrapins' fourth straight win over UNC and sixth in seven games.

Chay Shegog scored 24 and Laura Broomfield had 13 rebounds for the Tar Heels (19-9, 9-6), who shot 33 percent and committed 14 turnovers.

Asked to determine the difference between this game and that overtime thriller in January, Shegog said: "When we first played them, we played with a lot of pride, played with a lot of passion and played with a lot of heart. I really think we came out flat tonight and got into a hole we couldn't get out of."

North Carolina has lost four of six, including a 40-point defeat at Duke earlier this month. Next up, a home game against Duke on Sunday.

"Our ACC schedule has been pretty brutal this year," coach Sylvia Hatchell said. "You can ask me what I did to make them mad; I wondered the same thing."

Mincy scored 11 points, DeVaughn had 10 off the bench and Maryland held the Tar Heels to 25 percent shooting in taking a 24-point halftime lead. The Terrapins went 6 for 7 from beyond the arc after going 6 of 26 in their previous two games.

Not long after Maryland honored Lynetta Kizer, Anjale Barrett and Kim Rodgers on Senior Night, the Terrapins took control.

After Broomfield opened the scoring with a free throw, Maryland rattled off 11 consecutive points, including a pair of 3s by Rodgers. The Tar Heels missed their first nine attempts from the field before Shegog hit a baseline jumper at the 14:24 mark.

The Terrapins then got points from six different players in a 12-3 spurt that made it 26-8. Minutes later, DeVaughn made successive layups in a 6-0 run that put North Carolina in a 34-13 hole.

Hatchell burned another timeout after Mincy canned a 3 for a 43-19 lead. At that point, UNC was 5 for 27 from the floor with six turnovers.