Published January 08, 2015
Virginia Tech guard Monet Tellier knew it would take a "close to perfect" effort to knock off Maryland on its home floor.
Which sounds kind of like a description of Alyssa Thomas.
Thomas scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds on a day when her No. 25 was hung in the rafters, and the Hokies' upset hopes faded early in a 87-48 loss to the No. 9 Terrapins on Sunday.
"We got off to such a bad start and had some open shots, and then when we weren't able to knock any of them it really spiraled out of control against us," said Tech coach Dennis Wolff. "I thought it was as bad as it looked. But within this league, there is a top and then there is everyone else, and that's how I see it."
Just a week after beating No. 11 North Carolina on the Tar Heels' home floor, Virginia Tech found itself without a player in double figures as its win streak stopped at three.
Taijah Campbell and Vanessa Panousis each scored seven points for the Hokies (4-12, 14-15 Atlantic Coast Conference). Leading scorer Uju Ugkoka, who entered averaging nearly 19 points per game, was held to only three.
Tech, which shot just 17.6 percent (6 of 34) from the floor in the first half and missed its first six 3-point attempts, will face Clemson in an ACC opening round game Wednesday.
"You have to pretty much play close to perfect against those caliber teams," said Tellier, who had five points in the loss that followed a 74-48 home win over Clemson Thursday. "We'll have a couple days to prepare. We play Clemson again, and we just need to come out with the same mentality that we had against Clemson."
It was Thomas' nation-leading 23rd double-double of the season before a crowd of 7,164 that came partly to honor the senior in a postgame ceremony.
Brene Moseley added 13 points and Tierney Pfirman had 11 for Maryland (24-5, 12-4 ACC), which won its fourth straight and will begin ACC Tournament play Friday.
Six players scored in an early 15-0 run to help the Terps open a 20-4 lead. Moseley hit a 3-pointer in that stretch, and Pfirman capped it by converting a three-point play after rebounding her own miss inside.
Tech's Maddison Penn hit a 3 to stop the run after the Hokies missed their first six from beyond the arc. But Maryland's lead still grew to 38-15 by halftime behind eight points each from Thomas and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough.
"Maryland deserves a lot of credit," Wolff said. "I thought they were focused, they didn't allow the emotion of senior night and everything that went along with that to take away from how well they played."
Maryland stretched its lead to 30 after halftime when Thomas' putback made it 53-23. The Terps' lead grew as large as 79-40 after Alicia DeVaughn's free throws with 5:09 to play, and again to 39 when Moseley hit the game's final basket.
Thomas and her senior teammates departed to a standing ovation with just under two minutes to play. With six assists, the forward fell four assists short of her seventh career triple-double, which would've tied an NCAA record.
"She is a great player and one of the best players that I've ever gone against in my career," Tellier, also a senior, said of Thomas. "Seeing her develop over the years, I remember playing her my freshman year. She was good then, but I think she's taken her game to the next level now."