For a second straight game, the eighth-ranked Maryland women’s basketball team had to fend off a determined opponent, this time getting a record performance from junior forward Tianna Hawkins in an 86-58 victory over Wake Forest on Thursday night before 4,091 at Comcast Center.
Hawkins collected 24 rebounds to establish a school record and added a game-high 18 points, and Alyssa Thomas scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half. The sophomore forward also had 11 rebounds and seven assists to fall just short of her first triple-double. Three other Maryland players scored 11 points, including freshman point guard Brene Moseley, whose two three-pointers were a team-high.
Hawkins’s record-setting rebound came on the offensive end with 32 seconds to play, capping a night in which the ACC’s leading rebounder also shot 8 for 15, made both her free throws and added one steal. In all, Maryland logged 24 offensive rebounds, its second most in a game this season.
Hawkins broke a record that stood since 1977, when Angie Scott and Debbie Jones each had 23 in separate games.
“Obviously you look pretty good when you’ve got rebounding machines like the two that we have here,” said Maryland Coach Brenda Frese, who sat between Hawkins and Thomas at the postgame news conference. “Just a special night to be able to see Tianna break the record. I’ve never seen anybody get 24 rebounds in a game.”
Three nights after outlasting Virginia, 68-61, Maryland (18-1, 5-1 ACC) limited Wake Forest to 21 points in the second half and held the Demon Deacons to 35 percent shooting overall. The Terrapins, meantime, outrebounded Wake Forest 56-38, owned a 40-20 margin in points in the paint and scored 18 more second-chance points.
The Terrapins’ front-line rotation of Hawkins, Thomas, sophomore center Alicia DeVaughn and senior center Lynetta Kizer combined for 46 rebounds, eight more than Wake Forest’s team total. Nine of those rebounds were offensive.
“That’s the best offensive rebounding team I’ve ever seen,” Wake Forest Coach Mike Peterson said.
The Terrapins couldn’t begin to breathe easy until an 8-0 run in the second half gave them a 58-47 lead with 13 minutes 16 seconds to play. Maryland followed that with a 19-2 flurry that secured its second win in row since its only loss and kept the Terrapins in a tie for second in the conference. It was Maryland’s 11th consecutive win over Wake Forest.
Maryland shot 55 percent in the second half, when it went to the free throw line 21 times and harassed Wake Forest into 1 for 10 from three-point range. The Demon Deacons had managed to remain competitive in the first half thanks to their three-point shooting, hitting 5 of 12.
Maryland had multiple opportunities to extend the lead to double figures in the first half, but Wake Forest stood its ground each time. The Terrapins opened a 22-13 advantage with 10:47 to play until intermission, and following a timeout, the Demon Deacons reeled off a pair of three-pointers to get back in it.
The Terrapins scored the next six points in a row to grow the lead to 28-19, but again, Wake Forest (11-7, 1-4) countered with 9-2 burst to draw within 30-28. The Demon Deacons then took the lead, 35-32, with 2:21 to play on consecutive field goals by Lakevia Boykin (13 points) before Maryland rallied to tie it at 37 during a first half in which Hawkins had 15 rebounds.
“I was just happy I was able to do something in a game to help my team out and to also go into history,” Hawkins said of her milestone. “So it means a lot to me.”