Virginia coach Joanne Boyle had just finished visiting newly injured guard Kelsey Wolfe on Sunday night when she heard her top scorer, Ataria Franklin, talking to reporters about her disappointment that the Cavaliers failed to rally around Wolfe after she got injured in their matchup with No. 7 Maryland.
Instead, they saw a close game get quickly get away as the Terrapins romped to a 73-44 victory.
"That's a time when we have to rally together and fight for her, and we didn't do that," Franklin said of Wolfe, who went down with a knee injury early in the game and had to be helped off the court. "That's the most disappointing thing — that we didn't take pride in finishing the game strong for Kelsey."
Shaking her head, Boyle later seemed to be choosing her words carefully as she talked of missed shots, many of them layups from in close, a 40-23 rebounding disadvantage, three field goals in the second half and 26 percent shooting overall.
"If you're a Division I college basketball player, you've got to make layups, uncontested right-handed layups," she said, speaking primarily of her four post players, who finished a combined 3-for-19 from the field.
"I'm kind of at a loss," Boyle said, noting that he team failed to reach 50 points for the third time in four games, all losses. "I've got to just throw things at them and see what sticks."
Maryland had no such troubles thanks, in large part, to Alyssa Thomas, who had 27 points and 13 rebounds.
The Terps used a 26-3 run spanning the halves to blow open a two-point game and Virginia was finished.
"It's not rocket science," Boyle said. "It's a simple game, and we are over-analyzing it."
Alicia DeVaughn added 14 points and Malina Howard 12 for the Terrapins (21-4, 12-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who led 29-25 before two free throws by DeVaughn sparked the burst 3:46 before halftime.
Ataira Franklin led Virginia (15-10, 7-7) with 21 points, but the Cavaliers lost for the fourth time in five game.
Virginia missed 16 consecutive field goals tries during the drought until Franklin's 3-pointer finally dropped 6:22 into the second half. It was the first points for Virginia since Franklin's putback with 4:06 remaining in the opening half.
Katie Rutan added 11 for Maryland, which moved into sole possession of second place in the ACC because No. 14 North Carolina lost 80-73 to No. 19 Florida State earlier in the day.
For the first 13 minutes, Virginia hung with the Terps.
Virginia trailed 23-13 until two free throws by Faith Randolph sparked a 10-2 run. Telia McCall scored inside and made a 3-pointer from the top of the key, and Franklin followed with another 3 from the right corner, prompting Terps coach Brenda Frese to call a timeout with about 7 minutes left in the half.
The Terps responded, holding the Cavaliers to one basket the rest of the way in a 12-2 run that made it 37-25 at the half. Virginia missed its last seven shots and was 10 of 31 (32.2 percent) for the half.
Thomas, who had 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists by halftime, opened the second half with a driving basket and foul-line jumper. After DeVaughn scored, Thomas hit another 12-footer in the lane, Rutan made a 3-pointer from the left corner and Thomas' free throw completed a 20-0 burst.
The Terps arrived No. 2 in the nation with a plus 15.8 rebounding differential, and their size advantage was evident from the outset. They got 22 of their 37 first-half points in the paint, outrebounded Virginia 20-13 in the opening 20 minutes and shot 55.6 percent from the field (15 of 27). Maryland finished with a 40-23 rebounding edge and shot 52.8 percent overall.
Virginia shot 26 percent (13 of 50), and was just 3 of 19 in the second half.
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