TOWSON, Md. — Brenda Frese wasn’t about to let the 10th-ranked Maryland women’s basketball team relive its indignation of three years ago against Towson. That’s when her nationally ranked team came to Towson Center for an early-season tuneup only to watch the Tigers pull off perhaps the biggest victory in school history.
This time around, there were no letdowns.
Alyssa Thomas had a game-high 23 points and 13 rebounds in just 23 minutes as Maryland held host Towson without a basket for spans of more than 8 minutes in the first half and 6 minutes in the second in an 88-43 victory.
“Different team. Different group,” said Frese of this year’s team compared to the 2009 squad. “I like the way this team locks in and really focuses.”
Four Terrapins scored in double figures, including reserve guard Katie Rutan, who scored a season-high 16.
The Tigers, meanwhile, managed their lowest offensive output this season and shot just 29 percent from the field.
“I felt like in the first half we missed a lot of shots in the paint that we could’ve gotten down,” Towson Coach Joe Mathews said. “Against a team like this, you have to get those down. It’s going to be a struggle to score consistently anyway, but you certainly . . . have got to get the three, four, five-footers to go down for you if you’re going to have a chance.”
The Terrapins got a scare when Thomas, their all-American forward, jammed a finger on her left hand going for a loose ball with 3 minutes 35 seconds left in the first half. She left the game in apparent pain and remained on the bench the remainder of the half with two middle fingers taped together, but played in the second half.
“I jammed my finger pretty bad,” Thomas said. “It’s a little sore. Nothing a little ice won’t fix.”
Said Frese: “It takes [a lot] for Alyssa to come off the floor, so obviously there’s great concern when you see her in pain.”
Maryland (7-2) has won back-to-back games against Colonial Athletic Association teams and will play its third straight when it travels to Delaware next week.
Towson (4-4) has dropped three straight.
In its last game before finals, Towson got schooled.
Thomas scored seven points in the first 3:58, including a three-pointer from the top of the key to give her team a 13-4 lead.
The Terrapins’ real surge, however, came minutes later. Up by four, they embarked on an 18-2 run to take a 33-13 lead. Thomas scored eight during the stretch and Rutan nailed a pair of three-pointers.
The Tigers, meanwhile, managed little against Maryland’s taller, more athletic defenders. Leading scorer Tanisha McTiller, who had scored 25 and 24 her previous two games, finished with a season-low eight points on 3-for-12 shooting.
Guard Ciara Webb led Towson with 12.
Maryland scored 21 straight points early in the second half while holding the Tigers scoreless for 6:01.