Fourth-ranked Cheyney State used a strong defense and 25 points from all-America forward Valerie Walker to win its 13th straight game, 67-51, over fifth-ranked Maryland last night at Cole Field House.
Besides hitting on a variety of shots, Walker collected 11 rebounds and blocked three shots.
"Walker broke our backs," said Maryland Coach Chris Weller.
Maryland didn't help its own cause. The Terrapins (18-4) committed 21 turnovers and shot a dismal 39 percent from the field (23 for 58). Forward Lydia McAliley led Maryland with 15 points. Forward Myra Waters and center Belinda Pearman (11 rebounds) each scored 10.
"We played every phase poorly and they played every phase well. That's it," said Weller.
This was the first time Cheyney State (18-2) has beaten Maryland in Cole Field House. "I was kind of nervous," said Cheyney State Coach C. Vivian Stringer. "Maryland has always been a kind of jinx for us. For the last few years we've always come within one or two points, but never won."
Stringer didn't have to worry tonight.
In the early minutes of the first half, Maryland kept pace with the Wolves. Down, 12-10, forward Debbie Lytle made a steal and a quick outlet pass to guard Marcia Richardson. Richardson raced down court and found Lytle under the basket for a layup and a 12-12 tie with 12:53 left in the first half.
But that was the last basket Maryland would score for the next six minutes. Even Lytle's block of 6-foot-4 Wolf center Sharon Taylor couldn't spark the Maryland offense.
In that six minutes Cheyney raced to a 29-12 lead. Walker hit four straight jumpers from the key, scoring 11 points of the 15 points in that spree.
Maryland could not penetrate the Wolves' zone and, on the rare occasion when it did, all shots landed far from the basket.
"We couldn't do anything right," said McAliley.
Pearman ended the Wolves' run on a 10-foot jumper with 6:51 left in the half. The Terrapins cut the lead to 29-21 when guard Jasmina Perazic hit a shot from the corner with 4:26 left before intermission. But it was another disappointing game for Perazic, Maryland's leading scorer (15.1 average), who scored only eight points.
Walker scored the last six Cheyney points of the first half to take a 35-23 halftime lead.
But the Wolves tightened even more in the second half, maintaining a 20-point advantage. "We played tough defense," said Walker. "It enabled our offense to flow."