COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Alyssa Thomas had 29 points and 13 rebounds, and Maryland spoiled Quinnipiac's debut in the NCAA women's tournament by pulling away to a 72-52 victory Saturday.
The fourth-seeded Terrapins (25-7) trailed by nine in the first half, moved in front 27-23 at the break and dominated the second half against the smaller Bobcats, who couldn't stop Thomas' repeated forays into the lane.
Tianna Hawkins had 23 points and 16 rebounds for Maryland, which will next face the winner of the Marist-Michigan State game, held later Saturday.
Felicia Barron scored 13 for No. 13 seed Quinnipiac (30-3), the Northeast Conference champions. The Bobcats had won 22 straight since a 74-57 defeat against Georgia Tech on Dec. 29.
Quinnipiac played well for much of the first half, but very little went right for the Bobcats after that. Maryland opened the second half with a 14-3 run to go up 41-26, and Quinnipiac couldn't score with enough consistency to make up the difference.
During the first 10 minutes after the break, Quinnipiac was 2 for 22 from the floor while being outscored 22-9. The Bobcats finished with a 23 percent field-goal percentage on 17-for-74 shooting.
On defense, Quinnipiac had no answer for the 6-foot-2 Thomas and the 6-3 Hawkins, whose combined point total equaled the entire Quinnipiac roster.
Both teams had 22 rebounds at halftime, but Maryland finished with a 59-41 advantage. Alicia DeVaughn grabbed a career-high 17 for the Terps.
Thomas scored 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting in a shaky first half for the Terrapins, who needed a closing 15-2 run to take the lead.
The 11:15 a.m. start produced shoddy play by both teams at the outset. Although the Bobcats missed seven of their first eight shots, Maryland started 4 for 20 from the floor. The Terrapins trailed 21-12 before Thomas made a layup to spark a 9-0 spurt that included five points by Hawkins.
Maryland went 1 for 9 from beyond the arc in the first half. Quinnipiac's Ellen Cannon connected on all three of her 3-point tries before halftime.