CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- There are nights when one actually can see the progress the Maryland women's basketball team is making as it attempts to jump start what was once a dominant program.
However, those nights don't occur against Virginia, which has beaten the Terps nine straight times, including last night's 75-46 pasting at University Hall.
The Terps have lost the last nine to Virginia by an average of 16 points, and the last five by an average of 23, blowing open what once was a fairly even rivalry.
"We just don't match up well with Virginia," said Maryland coach Chris Weller. "It's just something that we don't want to dwell on, just as we didn't dwell on the loss to [North Carolina] State. We just have to forget it and move on."
Despite playing a flawed game, the seventh-ranked Cavaliers (15-3, 6-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) were able to do virtually whatever they wanted to the hapless Terps (8-7, 2-4) whenever they wanted, outrebounding Maryland 42-28 overall and 15-8 on the offensive glass.
Six Virginia players scored in double figures, led by junior guard Tora Suber with 14, and only a late Maryland rush kept the Terps from posting their lowest point total in an ACC game ever for a second straight year here, as they dropped their 20th straight contest to a ranked opponent.
"I expected it to be much harder than it was," said Virginia coach Debbie Ryan. "Maryland has been in every game this season except for [North Carolina] State.
"They're extremely athletic and difficult to guard. We have a few more players to put out there for a few more minutes and that ultimately ends up being the difference. They're right on the verge of being very, very good. They're going to beat some teams this year, mark my words."
Maryland's lone sparks on the night were freshman guard Kelley Gibson, who had 10 of the Terps' 18 first-half points, and sophomore forward Stephanie Cross, who scored Maryland's first 10 points of the second half to finish with a game-high 17.
Gibson, a highly recruited prospect who is returning to action after missing nearly all of last season with a tear of her right anterior cruciate ligament, hit two first-half three-pointers and gave Suber some match-up problems.
"Kelley's a great player. I recruited her. She's a great slasher and has a great shot," said Ryan. "Chris is just trying to help her defense come along. "She's very athletic and she's going to be one of the great players in the conference."
Gibson's presence is one of the factors that has aided in Maryland's slow crawl back to respectability, and since its 98-57 loss to the Wolfpack earlier this month -- the worse ever to an ACC opponent -- the team has shown some resilience.
However, games like last night only serve to prove that the Terps, who face N.C. State Saturday in Raleigh, still have a way to go.
"Last year, we would have been beaten by 60 or 80," said Weller. "This is the rebuilding year we thought we'd have last year. This team is a very competitive team. I don't know many we're going to win, but we're going to be competitive."