COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Kara Lawson scored 17 points and
Seimone Augustus added 16 to help the U.S. national team beat
Maryland 90-73 on Wednesday night, beginning an eight-game college
Lisa Leslie made her return to the court after taking a year off
to help an uncle who was paralyzed in a car crash and to give birth
to a baby girl in June. The 2006 WNBA MVP was a bit rusty, scoring
just eight points on 3-for-13 shooting. She grabbed 10 rebounds.
Leading only 40-38 at halftime, the U.S. opened the second half
with an 11-1 run fueled by Leslie to expand the lead to 12 points
with 16:40 left. Kristi Toliver scored five straight points to cut
the gap to 51-44, but the Terrapins could get no closer. A 13-1
surge by the U.S. put the game away.
Toliver finished with 18 points and eight rebounds.
Maryland, which is expected to be one of the top teams in the
country this season, hung tough in the first half. The Terrapins
trailed 21-14 midway through the half before going on a 10-2 run to
take its first lead of the game on Marissa Coleman's jumper with
Laura Harper scored 14 of her 20 points in the first half on
6-for-6 shooting to lead Maryland. Trailing by five with six seconds
left before the break, Toliver went the length of the court and hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the deficit to 40-38.
The Terrapins were missing All-American Crystal Langhorne, who
was sidelined with a sprained ankle.
The U.S. team will play at Connecticut on Friday night.