Alyssa Thomas has her moments when you think she can win ACC Player of the Year again. - USA TODAY Sports
Alyssa Thomas made 27 points and 13 rebounds look easy, while Tianna Hawkins failed to finish off her quest for 1,000 rebounds and a valuable contributor in Tierney Pfirman returned for Maryland.
Alyssa Thomas dominated her way to a double-double Sunday evening and No. 7/8 Maryland (21-4, 12-2 ACC) went on a 20-0 run in the middle of the game to beat 57th RPI-ranked Virginia (15-10, 7-7 ACC), 73-44, at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville.
Thomas flirted with topping both her season high (28) and career high (29) with 27 points and was also the only player in the game with double digit rebounds, hauling in 13. She raced to 20 and 10 in the fist 22 minutes and 47 seconds of the contest, after which Maryland held a 20-point lead.
Virginia did not score from 4:06 remaining in the first to 13:39 remaining in the second, a span of over 10 minutes, during which the Terps went on their 20-0 run. Thomas led all scorers with nine points during that stretch.
Thomas' co-star Tianna Hawkins was plagued by foul trouble, scoring just four points and grabbing just four rebounds in 17 minutes of action before she fouled out with 3:50 remaining in the game. With four boards, she failed to reach 1,000 on her career and now sits at 996.
To pick up Hawkins, who had just her third single digit scoring effort of the season and yet second in three games, centers Alicia DeVaughn and Malina Howard and guard Katie Rutan stepped up. DeVaughn was good for 14 points, while Malina Howard had 12 points and eight boards and Rutan notched 11 points and a career-high seven rebounds.
UVA's top scorer Ataira Franklin led them with 21 points, but their second leading scorer Kelsey Wolfe was injured during the game and played just five minutes.
Meanwhile, on the injury front for the Terps, freshman Tierney Pfirman returned from the dislocated right kneecap she sustained on Jan. 19, but did not start. She had missed seven games, during which Maryland went 6-1, with the only loss coming to Duke. Pfirman was averaging a solid 8.6 points per game before she went down.
Against Virginia on Sunday, Tierney played just seven minutes and did not score. Maryland women's basketball media relations contact Rose DiPaula was reached by email on Saturday regarding Pfirman's status and said that the team was "taking it day by day." DiPaula said Tierney had been increasing her involvement in team workouts and that the hope was for her to play "as soon as possible."
Well, "as soon as possible" ended up being Sunday and it is a good sign for the Terps that Tierney at least got out on the court, as the team inches closer to having a little bit more depth.