Though the final margin was only 12, the game was firmly in Maryland's control from the start as the Terps raced out to a 22-9 lead over the first 10 minutes. And the Terrapins kept rolling, as five different players hit a three-pointer in the first half to build a 40-20 halftime lead. It was exactly the type of aggressive half that the Terps needed to start their ACC run on the right foot.
The Terrapins built their lead to as much as 26 late in the second half, which allowed Maryland Coach Brenda Frese to empty her bench towards the end and give some of her starters a little rest that could prove to be valuable later on.
Alyssa Thomas led the Terrapins with 18 points, including six straight to open the second half. In her first postseason game ever, freshman Brene Moseley scored 13 while shooting 3-of-4 from three to give Maryland a nice boost off the bench. Tianna Hawkins grabbed 10 rebounds in the win to help the Terps absolutely dominate the boards, 48-to-23.
One thing Maryland did not do well was take care of the ball, as the Terps committed 24 turnovers. However, their strong defensive showing in the first half kept the Cavaliers from taking advantage of Maryland's miscues too much.
With both Duke and Miami now out of the tournament - whom Maryland went a combined 1-3 against this season - the Terps path to a championship has gotten easier in terms of seeding. Yet if Friday's upsets are any indication, any of the four teams in the semi-finals could come away with the title. One thing that could work in Maryland's favor is that Wake Forest, their semi-final opponent, will be playing their third game in three days already.
No. 3 seed Maryland and No. 7 seed Wake Forest will tip-off at 1:30 Saturday, after the No. 4 seed Georgia Tech/No. 9 seed NC State Game. The Terps faced Wake Forest once this season, defeating the Demon Deacons 86-58 at Comcast Center back in January.