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No. 11 Maryland women coast to win over Rutgers

February 15, 2009

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Rutgers knew Maryland was adept at putting the ball in the basket. The Scarlet Knights just had no idea just how efficient the Terrapins were at playing defense.

They found out Sunday.

Maryland made Rutgers work for every shot, and most of them ended up clanging off the rim. The result was a 67-47 victory for the 11th-ranked Terrapins, who never trailed in their fifth straight win.

Marissa Coleman had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Kristi Toliver scored 18 for Maryland (2-14).

Epiphanny Prince led Rutgers (14-10) with 19 points, although her 7-for-29 shooting performance contributed to the Scarlet Knights' miserable 25 percent field goal percentage. Rutgers was 5-for-26 from 3-point range, took only seven foul shots and committed 13 turnovers.

"I thought Maryland played better defense than I've seen them play. They were aggressive," Scarlet Knights coach C. Vivian Stringer said. "Obviously the ball wasn't going in the basket. We had opportunities, but I think we stood around a little too much and they put pressure on us as a group."

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The Terrapins began hounding Rutgers from the opening tip. The Scarlet Knights missed 12 of their first 13 shots and committed four turnovers in falling behind 14-2. By halftime, Rutgers was 7-for-37 (19 percent) and down 30-19.

"We just did a tremendous job understanding this was going to be a different game," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. "We understood it was going to come down to getting stops on the defensive end and then executing on the offensive end. I thought we did a tremendous job, especially making Epiphany having to work for every shot she got."

Prince's 29 shots were 19 more than any of her teammates. Brittany Ray, Rutgers' second-leading scorer, picked up her third foul midway through the first half and ended up going scoreless (in 22 minutes) for the first time this season.

That left Prince as Rutgers' main option on the offensive end.

"I did feel like I had to shoot, because me and the whole team were struggling. We couldn't make a shot," she said. "When they don't make shots, they stop shooting."

Prince came in as a 44 percent shooter, but fewer than a quarter of her attempts against Maryland found the bottom of the net.

"She usually doesn't shot figures like that," Frese said. "I credit our defense. Every shot she took, she had a hand in her face. She didn't get very many easy looks."

After falling behind 14-2, the Scarlet Knights closed to 16-14 behind Prince, who made a jumper and two 3-pointers in an 8-0 run. Toliver then made a layup to spark a 14-5 spurt that put Maryland up by 11.

Rutgers was a bit more accurate in the second half, but never threatened to make a game of it. A 3-pointer by Toliver upped Maryland's lead to 41-25, and two foul shots by Coleman made it 50-33 with 9:14 remaining.

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