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No. 7 Maryland women hold off Wake in 73-63 win

Friday - 2/8/2013, 11:52pm  ET

Maryland's Alyssa Thomas, right, gets the rebound from Wake Forest's Dearica Hamby, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Winston-Salem, N.C., Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Lynn Hey)

JOEDY McCREARY
AP Sports Writer

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- Maryland tried to make the tough plays instead of the less complicated ones. The Terrapins kept giving the ball back to Wake Forest, and the pesky Demon Deacons kept coming back.

It took some timely production from one of the ACC's best one-two punches for the No. 7 Terps to avoid a colossal upset.

Tianna Hawkins and Alyssa Thomas scored 23 points apiece and combined for their team's final 15 in a 73-63 victory over Wake Forest on Friday night.

Malina Howard finished with 12 points to help the Terrapins (19-3, 10-1) sweat out their ninth straight win. They shot 54 percent and built a 20-point lead before blowing nearly all of it during a dizzying series of mistakes.

"We saw them coming at us, and instead of making the easy pass, we tried to make the hard one, and it resulted in turnovers," Thomas said.

They regrouped just in time to preserve their huge matchup Monday night at No. 5 Duke, which enters a half-game ahead of Maryland in the standings.

"We had to find a way to grind it out tonight, and not every game is going to be pretty," coach Brenda Frese said. "That was definitely for sure. And we found a way in a close game to grind it out."

Chelsea Douglas scored 17 points for the Demon Deacons (10-13, 3- 8), who were denied their biggest victory in 20 years and lost their fifth straight.

They clawed back in the game with a 31-14 run during a 12-minute span that coincided with a stretch in which Maryland had 12 turnovers on 17 possessions.

"We didn't sit back and let them control things," first-year Wake Forest coach Jen Hoover said.

Douglas capped that run with a free throw with 3:01 left to pull them within three at 62-59. Dearica Hamby hit a layup to bring Wake Forest within three again at 64-61 with 2
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