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Clinton native named Terrapin Classic MVP


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Photo by Daniel Kucin. Against Hartford, the Terps were led in scoring by Alyssa Thomas with 22 points.

Photo by Daniel Kucin. Against Hartford, the Terps were led in scoring by Alyssa Thomas with 22 points.

Published on: Wednesday, January 09, 2013

By Daniel Kucin

Maryland’s women’s basketball team trounced Hartford in a 72-40 blowout victory to win the Terrapin Classic tournament.

The Terrapins did not let their feet off the gas — leading by 32 points at one point in the second half. Hartford never had a lead in the lopsided match-up, and the Terps improved to a 10-2 record with sensational play by Clinton native Tianna Hawkins.

The former Gatorade State Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player for Riverdale Baptist has scored in double figures in every game she has started in this season.

“Tianna has made the biggest jump of any player I’ve ever coached, and that’s a credit to how much she’s invested in getting better,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said.

Photo by Daniel Kucin. Clinton native Tianna Hawkins was named the Terrapin Classic’s MVP.

Photo by Daniel Kucin. Clinton native Tianna Hawkins was named the Terrapin Classic’s MVP.

“She was considered the 125th best player in her class by one service,” Frese continued. “Look where she is now: All-ACC Second Team, nation’s leader in field goal percentage, and the record holder for most rebounds in a game at Maryland, not to mention an honor roll student.”

Hawkins also was named the tournament’s most valuable player for her exceptional play against Brown and Hartford, and she is currently the league’s leading scorer in the ACC.

Maryland has been impressive collectively this season, and the Terps’ success can be correlated with a mix of younger players and veteran leadership. Greenbelt native and junior point guard Sequoia Austin was a walk-on for the Terrapins and has been a solid asset to their team.

“I’m really proud to say I coach Sequoia Austin. After walking on to our team, she more than earned a scholarship,” Frese said. “I already know she’s going to do great things in life because I’ve seen her work ethic in many ways. She’s really worked to get better, and she gives us an energy boost every time she steps on the court.”

Alyssa Thomas led Maryland in scoring against Hartford with 22 points and 11 rebounds.

Maryland also scored 38 points in the paint with 12 fast break points to remain the ninth-ranked team in the nation.

“I thought it was a more dominating performance from start to finish,” Frese said. “I like how this group really starts the game, and how they can start that knockout punch early. We have closed the chapter on our non-conference play and are getting better with the adversity that we have faced.”

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