It was Thomas’ nation-leading 23rd double-double of the season coming before a crowd that filled most of the Comcast Center’s lower bowl, in part to honor the senior in a postgame ceremony.
Thomas is second in school history in points (2,234) and rebounds (1,167). She needs 13 points and 63 boards to catch Washington Mystics forward Crystal Langhorne in both categories.
Tierney Pfirman added 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Maryland (24-5, 12-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) in her first career double-double. Brene Moseley added 13 points for Maryland, which won its third straight and will begin ACC Tournament play Friday.
Virginia Tech leading scorer Uju Ugkoka, who entered averaging nearly 19 points per game, was held to only three for the Hokies (4-12, 14-15).
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 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.
Thomas and coach Brenda Frese both spoke in a postgame ceremony on court, during which Thomas’ No. 25 was unveiled as the ninth in program history to be hung in the rafters at Comcast Center.