U.S. national team begins eight-game college tour with win

Updated: October 31, 2007, 9:40 PM ET
Associated Press

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 tour.

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 6:48 left.

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.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press