Jan. 6, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) – Alyssa Thomas scored 18 of her 24 points in the second half, including a pivotal three-point play with 17 seconds left, and No. 5 Maryland rallied from a 20-point deficit to beat Georgia Tech 77-74 Friday night.
The Terrapins (15-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed 56-36 shortly after halftime and 72-64 with 4:23 remaining before coming back. After Thomas gave Maryland a 76-74 lead by scoring in the lane and adding a free throw, Georgia Tech’s Metra Walthour lost the ball driving to the basket and Laurin Mincy made a clinching foul shot for the Terps.
Mincy scored 17 points and Alicia DeVaughn contributed 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Terrapins.
“I felt like we came out here with a good game plan,” Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph said. “We got on our toes and we attacked early and we were able to control the boards in the first half and stop transition baskets, the two things that Maryland does. We were able to take those away in the first half.”
All of the Yellow Jackets’ defeats this season have come against teams currently ranked in the Top 25.
After Maryland scored the opening basket of the second half, Marshall made a driving layup to begin an 11-0 run that gave Georgia Tech a 20-point lead with 17:39 left.
That’s when the Terrapins began their comeback, and it didn’t take long. Beginning with a three-point play and a layup, Thomas scored 11 points in a 17-1 run that cut the deficit to 57-53 with 12:28 to play.
“The difference was Alyssa Thomas,” Joseph said. “We didn’t have an answer for her.”
Maryland’s next eight points came at the foul line, including two by Thomas that made it 63-61.
After the Yellow Jackets boosted the margin to eight points, a layup by DeVaughn sparked a 9-2 spree that cut the gap to 74-73. Thomas’ three-point play gave Maryland lead since 27-25.
Georgia Tech scored 26 points in the paint and outrebounded Maryland 26-18 in the first half to take a 45-34 lead at the break.
Maryland led 20-14 before Marshall scored four points in a 9-2 spree. Minutes later, five different players scored in a 16-point blitz that put the Yellow Jackets up 41-27.
At that point, Georgia Tech held a 25-14 advantage on the boards against the team with the leading rebounding differential in the country.