Written By Wake Forest Sports Information Dept.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest showed a lot of fight in the second half Friday evening against No. 7 Maryland, trimming a 20-point deficit down to just three points, but the Terrapins held strong in the end for a 73-63 victory.
The loss was the fifth-straight for the Deacons who fall to 10-13 on the season and 3-8 in the ACC. Maryland improves to 19-3 on the year and 10-1 in the conference.
Junior point guard Chelsea Douglas was 3-of-5 from beyond the arc and finished with 17 points to lead Wake. Senior Asia Williams chipped-in with 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists while fellow senior Lakevia Boykin finished with 12 points.
Maryland was led by its two Player of the Year candidates Alyssa Thomas and Tianna Hawkins. Both players scored 23 points as Thomas collected eight rebounds and Hawkins finished with seven. Melina Howard also had a nice game, hitting all five of her shots and finishing with 12 points.
The Terrapins came into the game as the top rebounding team in the ACC, outrebound their opponents by more than 17 rebounds per game. The scrappy Deacs hung right there with Maryland all night on the glass and only lost the rebounding battle 27-26. That is the fewest rebounds the Terps finished with in a game all season as their previous low was 39.
Turnovers were also what both helped and hurt the Deacs on the night. Twelve first half turnovers allowed Maryland to build an 11-point halftime lead but the Deacs forced Maryland into 14 second-half turnovers which helped Wake close the gap.
Maryland shot over 54 percent on the night while holding the Deacs to 44.2 percent. Wake had its best night of the season from the free throw line, making 13-of-14 attempts.
The Deacons started the game with good defensive pressure and after a Boykin steal and lay-in, Wake led 11-4. But the Terps answered with a 7-0 to tie the game and would eventually take a 23-17 lead with under nine minutes left in the half.
After Mykala Walker hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 23-22, Maryland would end the half on a 16-6 run over the final six and a half minutes. Williams capped the half for the Deacs with a lay-in at the buzzer but the Terps led 39-28. Both teams shot the ball well in the opening half but 12 Wake Forest turnovers allowed Maryland the opportunity to build its lead.
Maryland came out of the locker room and scored the first nine points of the second half to take a 48-28 lead with 16:50 to play. That's when the Deacons mounted a charge, scoring the next eight points to cut the deficit to 48-36.
The comeback continued as a Boykin three-pointer and a pair of Dearica Hamby lay-ins cut the lead to single-digits at 55-46 with 8:45 remaining. The lead stayed around 10 until a three-pointer by Douglas and a pair of free throws by Sandra Garcia off a Maryland turnover helped Wake trim the margin to just four at 59-55 with five minutes to play.
A key moment in the game came at the four minute mark as Hawkins beat the shot clock with a long three-pointer to push the lead back to seven at 62-55. Wake wasn't deterred however and a lay-in by Garcia and a pair of free throws from Douglas made it a single possession game at 62-59 with three minutes remaining.
The teams then traded baskets and after Garcia scored inside off a nice pass from Hamby, the Deacons were down just four with 1:40 to play. Wake got a stop and Williams pulled the trigger on a three-ball from the wing. Her shot with 43 seconds left went halfway down before rattling out. Alicia DeVaughn grabbed the rebound for Maryland and the Terps would then seal the game from the foul line.
Wake Forest will look to get back on the winning track as it hosts Boston College this Sunday at 2 p.m. The Deacons topped BC in the teams' first meeting of the season 92-87 in double-overtime.
Wake Forest Sports Information Dept.