The eighth-ranked Maryland women's basketball team won its fifth straight game last night, defeating Howard, 82-55, at Cole Field House.

"I thought it would be closer," said Maryland Coach Chris Weller. "It was merely a case of intimidation."

Although Weller and her team admitted they were looking ahead to Saturday's game with second-ranked Old Dominion, the Terrapins never let up. Debbie Lytle's layup at 13:49 in the first half gave Maryland a 17-0 lead. The Bison (3-2) had a poor first half, failing to score the first seven minutes.

Maryland used a strong passing game and accurate long jumpers to outplay Howard. With nine minutes remaining in the first half, Lytle and Jasmina Perazic sped down the court on a fast break, exchanging the ball four times before Perazic made the layup for a 23-10 Maryland lead.

The smallest Howard player, 5-foot-2 Blondell Curnell, sank an 11-foot jumper to make it 39-24 at the half. Curnell led the Bison with 17 points.

Perazic's three straight long jumpers in the second half gave Maryland a 59-37 lead. Perazic, 6 feet 1, led all scorers with 19 points.

"On all my shots I was open so they should have gone in," she said.

Maryland's 6-1 Belinda Pearman shut down Howard's tallest player, 6-2 Claudia Eaton, boxing her out throughout the game and holding her to five points.