Freshman Deana Tate scored 17 of her 23 points in the first half, and Carolin Dehn-Duhr had 20 points and 11 rebounds as Maryland defeated Bucknell, 95-52, last night in the first round of the Maryland Invitational before 553 at Cole Field House.
Southern California also had an easy time in its first-round game, as all-America Cheryl Miller scored 23 points, despite getting three fouls in the first half, to help the seventh-ranked Trojans defeat 20th-ranked St. Joseph's, 96-66.
The Terrapins will play the Trojans in the championship tonight at 8 o'clock. Bucknell and St. Joseph's will play the consolation at 6.
Bucknell (1-2), led by Jennifer Walz's 20 points, simply was outmatched. The Terrapins outrebounded the Bison, 57-27, and shot 52 percent from the field compared to Bucknell's 32 percent. Tate scored most of her points on layups, hitting nine of 10 shots.
Maryland (3-0) scored the first 14 points. After Walz gave Bucknell its first basket on a six-foot shot at 15:17, the Terrapins scored nine straight points.
Ann Kirwin helped Bucknell to move within 28-15 with 6:40 remaining, but Maryland outscored its opponent, 18-8, to hold a 46-23 halftime advantage.
"I thought we played pretty well in spots," said Maryland Coach Chris Weller. "USC is a better team than last year, so we're going to have to play our best. They have one of the best presses I've ever seen."
Weller was happy with the Terrapins' wide lead because it allowed her to rest starting forward Chequita Wood, who still is not fully recovered from a knee injury. Wood had eight points in 14 minutes.
Weller is going to need Wood tonight against a quick USC team that pressed the entire game and began to pull away at the beginning of the second half.
The Trojans held a six-point lead at halftime, in part because Miller had to sit out the last six minutes with her third personal and St. Joseph's rarely allowed the Trojans more than one shot a possession. The Hawks committed 15 turnovers, but outrebounded the Trojans, 29-16, in the half to stay close.
To begin the second half, the Trojans outscored the Hawks, 14-4, as Miller made two steals and went in for layups.
"I was a little hesitant (to press) with Cheryl having three fouls, because she is a big part of it," said USC Coach Linda Sharp. "But she handled it well."
Said Miller, "We got into a little foul trouble and that got us a little hesitant. But the worst that can happen is that you foul out. I just tried not to go for anything that would be considered a foul."
When Miller left the game with six minutes remaining in the half, the Trojans had a comfortable 36-22 lead. But St. Joseph's cut it to 38-34 at 1:53 before baskets by Cherie Nelson (15 points) and Cynthia Cooper enabled USC to lead by 42-36 at halftime. Virginia 84, Auburn 71: Sophomore guard Daphne Hawkins' 23 points and six steals helped the 18th-ranked Cavaliers (3-0) upset the eighth-ranked Tigers in the first round of the Lady Sunshine Classic in Orlando, Fla.
Nancy Mayer had 15 points and seven rebounds and Donna Holt scored 14 points for Virginia, which will play Mercer College in today's second round. UDC 79, New York Tech 69: Tracy Walton scored 20 points and got 15 rebounds and Jackie McKinnon had 18 points and 12 rebounds as the Firebirds (1-0) defeated New York Tech (0-2) in the first round of the UDC Tipoff Tournament. Bowie St. 61, Coppin St. 41: Pam Wheeler and Michelle Bennett scored 13 points apiece to lead visiting Bowie State (2-3).