Posted: Feb 6, 2014 7:59 PM
Updated: Feb 6, 2014 7:59 PM
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) Alyssa Thomas had already done enough damage, so Maryland's standout forward spent the final 12 minutes of the game cheering from the sideline instead of marching closer to setting school career records for points and rebounds.
The spectator's role suited Thomas just fine.
"It's good see my teammates get in there and get excited for them," Thomas said after totaling 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists to lead the 10th-ranked Terrapins past Pittsburgh 94-46 on Thursday night.
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 13 and freshman Brionna Jones added 12 to help Maryland (18-4, 6-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) secure a second straight win following a three-game skid.
"I really liked how hard we played from start to finish," coach Brenda Frese said. "We never played the score. I thought we got better tonight."
After using a 17-point blitz to take control in the first half, the Terrapins scored the first 16 points after halftime to take a 61-21 lead. Loliya Briggs interrupted the run with a 3-pointer for Pittsburgh (10-13, 2-7), and Maryland responded with another 12 points to make it 73-24.
Before taking a seat on the bench, Thomas moved into sole possession of third place on the school's career list with 2,097 points. Only Marissa Coleman (2,205) and Crystal Langhorne (2,247) have scored more in a Maryland uniform.
Thomas, a 6-foot-2 senior, also climbed within 136 rebounds Langhorne's school record of 1,229.
"She impressive in transition, whether she's getting the rebound and leading the break with a ball in her hand or she's out in the open floor at the receiving end," Pitt coach Suzie McConnell-Serio said. "She can post players up. She just creates so many mismatches."
The biggest mismatch in this game was Maryland's huge frontcourt against a tiny Pittsburgh team. The Panthers shot 31 percent and were outrebounded 47-30.
"Obviously, when we saw they started four guards and were small, we wanted to pound the ball inside," Frese said. "We definitely took advantage of their lack of height."
Briggs led Pittsburgh with 10 points. Guard Brianna Kiesel, who came in averaging 17.5 points a game, was limited to five on 2-for-8 shooting. It was the first time in 29 games she failed to score in double figures.
"We're not at the level right now that Maryland is playing," McConnell-Serio said. "They're just across the board stronger, more athletic, more physical, quicker. They're very talented at every position."
The Panthers led only once, 5-4 on a driving layup by Kiesel. Pittsburgh went scoreless for the next seven minutes while Maryland rang up 17 straight points. Lexi Brown contributed a jumper and a 3-pointer to the run as the Terrapins made nine of their first 12 field-goal attempts.
Chelsea Welch ended the Panthers' drought with a 3-pointer, and Pittsburgh closed to 23-13 before Thomas scored six points in a 13-2 spree that made it 36-15.
By halftime, Thomas had 14 points and Maryland owned a comfortable 45-21 lead after holding the Panthers to eight baskets.