Updated at: 01/13/2013 2:37 PM
By HANK KURZ Jr.
(AP) BLACKSBURG, Va. - Alyssa Thomas had 26 points, 18 rebounds and three blocks and No. 10 Maryland took charge from the opening tip and beat Virginia Tech 74-45 on Sunday.
Thomas, the reigning ACC player of the year, added six assists for the Terrapins (13-3, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won for the ninth time in 10 games. Maryland went ahead by double figures on three free throws by Katie Rutan 8:23 before halftime and the Hokies never got within single digits again.
Uju Ugoka scored 12 points and Monet Tellier had 11 for Virginia Tech (7-9, 1-4), which lost its fourth straight.
Thomas and the Terps were focused from the start, with Thomas scoring the game’s first six points. Maryland also blocked several shots in the early going, and that surely contributed greatly to Virginia Tech’s shooting woes. The Hokies missed 12 of their first 14 shots and shot 27.9 percent (19-68) overall.
Virginia Tech also went five minutes before scoring on Porschia Hadley’s putback.
Leading just 15-9 after 12 minutes, Maryland used a 13-3 run to open its lead to 28-12. Tierney Pfirman started it with a 3-pointer, Rutan hit three free throws and Tianna Hawkins finished it with a jumper. Hawkins scored 14 for Maryland, and Rutan and Pfirman each had 11.
The Terps’ lead was 37-22 at halftime, and after Virginia Tech closed to within 43-31 with 15 minutes to go, Malina Howard hit a jumper from the free throw line, Pfirman had a three-point play and Howard followed a Hokies turnover with a 3-pointer, pushing the lead back to 51-31, and all suspense was gone.
The Hokies, who won 75-69 at then-No. 8 Maryland last season, forced 22 turnovers, but turned them into just 12 points, and had 18 offensive rebounds, but just six second-chance points.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)