Maryland's women's basketball team played without injured stars Debbie Lytle and Belinda Pearman last night against Georgia Tech at Cole Field House, but the third-ranked Terrapins (7-0) hardly missed them as they cruised to an 88-54 victory.
Junior center Lea Hakala, a transfer from Finland, led the way with 20 points as she tied Kris Kirchner's school field goal accuracy mark of nine of nine. Maryland made 76 percent of its first-half shots en route to a 46-24 intermission lead and finished with 63 percent accuracy for the game.
"We have improved dramatically in the last year," Maryland Coach Chris Weller said. "We are deeper this year. We are doing pretty well. I can't ask for a whole lot more."
Maryland had not beaten Georgia Tech by more than 19 points in the three previous meeting. The Terrapins' biggest lead last night was the 34-point margin, but Maryland was in control from the opening tap. Every Terrapin but sophomore Dorothy Smith scored. But Hakala was the star.
"She put on a clinic out there in terms of high post play," Weller said. "She knew she had to assume a leadership role with Bo (Pearman) and Debbie (Lytle) out."