Before yesterday, Maryland forward Bonnie Rimkus had onl been a tourist in Charm City, but if her future visits are as satisfying as last night, she'll probably want to play here more often.
Rimkus scored a career-high 30 points and pulled down 15 rebounds in leading the sixth-ranked Terps (5-1) to a 75-44 pasting of Loyola (3-5) at Reitz Arena.
Rimkus, a 6-foot-4 junior from Pittsburgh, was brilliant both out on the perimeter, with long-range jumpers, including her second career three-pointer, and inside, controlling the boards and blocking two shots.
"I just had one of my better games, but the next game I could not score at all. I guess my shot was there," said Rimkus, the first Maryland player to score 30 in a game in two years.
"Bonnie had a great week of practice, so it didn't surprise me that she played so well. But I think she can get much better,"
said Maryland coach Chris Weller.
Loyola gamely battled with the Terps, playing their first game in Baltimore in 18 years of women's basketball competition.
Ultimately, though, the Greyhounds were unable to counter Maryland's advantages of height, speed and experience.
"I tell my team that we want to take our game to the next level and Maryland is at the next level," said Loyola coach Pat Coyle. "They're big, they're quick and they're strong and really athletic."
Coming off a 10-day layoff for exams, Maryland attacked the Greyhounds ferociously on defense, employing their zone trap press to force turnovers in the backcourt.
And when the Greyhounds, who shot 33 percent from the field, could get the ball across midcourt, the Terps forced them to start their offensive sets beyond the three-point line and cut off the passing lanes, drawing three 30-second shot clock violations and 27 turnovers.
"With the kind of pressure that Maryland plays, you could make a hundred turnovers," Coyle said. "It was good to go against that kind of pressure. We won't see a team like Maryland in the MAAC [Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference], so this is a good learning experience for us."
The Greyhounds were largely successful early in their approach, slowing down the game when they could and dropping a player back to beat the Maryland pressure for layups.
Loyola led 10-9 with 13:03 left in the first half on a baselinejumper by Mary Thompson, but that was about the extent of the Greyhounds' highlight package, as the Terps went on an a 16-0 run, fueled by nine points by Rimkus.
The Terps led 35-20 at halftime, then blistered Loyola 26-10 to start the second half to grab a 61-30 lead with 9:11 left to decide the issue.