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Thomas hits milestone, Terps women win 103-51

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) If Alyssa Thomas can come close to having a January similar to November and December, Maryland will like its ACC chances.

In final non-conference tuneup for the No. 8 Terrapins, Thomas scored a season-high 28 points and had 10 rebounds to give her 1,000 for her career in a 103-51 rout of the College of Charleston in the Terrapin Classic championship game Sunday.

The performance capped an early season where the senior forward has had 12 straight double-doubles to lead the nation, and posted two of her four career triple-doubles in the last four games. Maryland has now won 10 straight, and its last four by an average of 53.5 points.

"It's just a huge honor," said Thomas, fourth all-time among Maryland rebounders, of hitting the milestone with her final rebound of the day. "Just, being on a list with so many great players who have made an impact here. It's definitely a huge honor."

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 15 points and Tierney Pfirman added 10 for the Terrapins (12-1), who led 54-15 after their most dominant first half of the season.

Afreyea Tolbert scored 20 points for Charleston (7-5), which saw its three-game win streak snapped. Breanna Bolden added 11 points and Jazz Green scored 10.

"When you talk about the first half, that's probably the best basketball we've played," said Maryland coach Brenda Frese, whose team forced 12 turnovers and allowed just five field goals before halftime. "And to be able to see us continuing to really improve together as a team was really special to be able to watch."

January gets significantly tougher for Maryland, with an ACC opener at No. 10 North Carolina next weekend and home games against No. 20 Syracuse and No. 2 Notre Dame later in the month. Maryland's only loss came at home on Nov. 15 against top-ranked UConn, its only ranked opponent to date.

Sunday, the Cougars failed to give Maryland the same scare as CAA foes Drexel, who fell 69-63 here in late November.

Tolbert was the only Charleston player to make a field goal in the first half. Her teammates were 0 for 21 from the field in the first 20 minutes, before Bolden hit an inside basket that made it 58-19 early in the second half.

"I felt like we took good shots, I felt like the right people were taking the shots," said Charleston coach Natasha Adair. "They just didn't fall."

By then, Thomas had scored 22 points, including 20 before halftime, turning from facilitator to scorer a day after contributing 10 assists in Maryland's semifinal win over Wofford on Saturday.

Thomas had already hit three inside baskets before Tolbert made Charleston's first field goal 5:31 in. Later in the half, she scored eight consecutive points for Maryland as the lead grew to 45-13.

"I think we were just able to get out in transition, you know," Thomas said. "Our teammates were finding me right in the lane and just getting easy buckets."

In the second half, Thomas reached her rebound milestone on the offensive glass before sinking a putback to push it to 91-40. Frese then substituted for the senior, who played 23 minutes, before an appreciative crowd.

Maryland guard Lexie Brown returned to action after missing Saturday's semifinal because of a family issue.

Updated December 29, 2013

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