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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, February 14, 2013 9:44 pm

No. 7 Maryland women beat Clemson 75-45

The Associated Press

When No. 7 Maryland needed a spark against Clemson on Thursday night, Terrapins coach Brenda Frese knew she could rely on Tianna Hawkins to provide it.

Hawkins posted her 12th double-double of the season with 30 points and 12 rebounds and Maryland continued its dominance of Clemson with a 75-45 victory Thursday night. Hawkins played a season-high 40 minutes and was 11 of 18 from the field.

Alyssa Thomas added 17 points for the Terrapins, who bounced back from a 71-56 loss to No. 5 Duke on Monday night. Maryland has won 13 consecutive games against the Tigers. The Terrapins (20-5 overall, 11-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) have not lost to Clemson since a 63-61 setback on March 7, 2003, in the ACC Tournament.

"I thought Tianna was terrific," Frese said. "She scored in so many different ways for us. I thought that was a huge spark in terms of bouncing back and being ready to play tonight. I thought she did a terrific job."

Nikki Dixon had 13 points for the Tigers (6-18, 2-11), who have lost four consecutive games after beating Virginia Tech, 47-37, on Jan. 31.

Maryland outrebounded Clemson, 48-32, and is averaging plus-15.7 in rebounding margin, second in the nation behind Liberty. The Terrapins scored 21 points off 21 Clemson turnovers.

Hawkins, who leads the ACC with 19 points per game, scored nine consecutive points, Chloe Pavlech made a 3-pointer and the Terps opened a 26-12 lead with 7:32 left in the first half. Clemson eventually settled down and scored seven consecutive points to end the half, cutting the margin to 33-25 at the break.

"It's my teammates finding me in the right position," Hawkins said of her dominant night. "It was just another opportunity with this game to get better. It was important for my teammates, like Alyssa, to get involved with the scoring."

Maryland shot 31.6 percent (12 of 38) from the field, while the Tigers missed all eight of their 3-point attempts.

The Terrapins began to pull away when Hawkins and Thomas combined for all of the points in a 15-4 run to start the second half. Another jumper by Thomas with 7:46 remaining increased the lead to 61-38. Clemson could not pull within 20 points the rest of the way and the Terps cruised to their 10th victory in 11 games.

"We kind of came out slow," Thomas said. "They can play so we had to wake up quickly. We've been really smart about how we are recovering."

The victory kept Maryland tied with No. 14 North Carolina for second place in the ACC, two games behind Duke (23-1, 13-0).

"We knew if we let Hawkins and Thomas go off early, then we were in for a long night," Clemson coach Itoro Coleman said. "That's exactly what happened. Maryland pretty much owned the boards offensively. That was our focus coming into the game. I told our team before the game, when you get an opportunity to play a team that is nationally ranked, your margin of error is very slim. I think we got very frustrated early on."