Terps women hang close for half, but fade, 82-65

No. 8 Penn State helped by UM scoreless stretch

College Basketball

December 04, 2003|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - It's possible for a team to allow itself the indulgence of one poor stretch against a top-quality team and end up on the good side of the win-loss column.

To have two such stretches - as Maryland's women's basketball team did last night against No. 8 Penn State in an 82-65 loss - is unaffordable extravagance.

That extra rope wasn't there for the Terps (4-1), whose chances to win survived being out-rebounded in the first half 27-9, but not going scoreless for the first six minutes of the second half.

Despite 22 points and 19 points, respectively, from Maryland guards Alli Spence and Shay Doron, the die was pretty much cast at the 15:24 mark when Tanisha Wright's layup put Penn State (4-1) ahead 51-35 to cap a 16-2 run and push her team toward its sixth straight win over Maryland.

Even though the Terps seemed to retain life when Spence's layup brought her team within 55-48 with 8:41 left to go, the Nittany Lions' All-American, Kelly Mazzante, hadn't really warmed up. Mazzante scored 11 of her 33 points during a four-minute stretch that ended any Maryland hope. Her three-pointer with four minutes remaining put Penn State ahead 68-56.

"You look for a better player than Kelly Mazzante," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said of the star, who also had seven rebounds and six assists. "She's a two-time Kodak All-American, and she played like it. She put the team on her back and I'm ready for her to graduate."

It was hard to imagine things going worse for the Terps in the first half, with trouble across the board - shooting, rebounding and defense.

Strangely enough, ball-handling was the answer for the Terrapins, who committed only three turnovers, while the Nittany Lions had 13 and went into halftime with a mere 35-33 lead despite getting 17 first-half points from Mazzante and out-rebounding Maryland by that huge margin.

Another lift came from Penn State's foul trouble, which put the Terps in the bonus situation midway through the first half and provided 10 free throws, of which Maryland made eight.

Crystal Washington had 10 points for the Terps, who travel to St. Bonaventure on Friday.

PENN STATE - Brungo 4-9 3-3 12, Schwab 3-3 3-4 9, Mazzante 13-22 2-2 33, Strom 2-6 2-2 7, Wright 6-6 0-0 13, Brown 2-2 1-1 5, Joseph 0-1 0-0 0, Russell 0-0 2-2 2, Harris 0-2 1-2 1. Totals 30-51 14-16 82. MARYLAND - Washington 4-7 2-3 10, Fisher 2-2 0-0 4, Spence 7-17 3-4 22, Doron 6-16 7-7 19, France 2-8 2-2 6, Carr 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Ross 0-0 0-0 0, Oliver 1-4 2-2 4. Totals 22-54 16-18 65. Half-Penn State, 35-33. 3-Point goals-Penn St 8-18 (Mazzante 5-10, Strom 1-2, Wright 1-1, Brungo 1-3, Joseph 0-1, Harris 0-1), Maryland 5-12 (Spence 5-10, Doron 0-1, Carr 0-1). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Penn St 37 (Schwab 10), Maryland 19 (Spence 4). Assists-Penn St 18 (Strom 6), Maryland 9 (Spence 5). Total fouls-Penn St 21, Maryland 15. A-2,126.

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