For a while, it appeared as if little Quinnipiac had a chance to hang with mighty Maryland.
Alyssa Thomas and the Terrapins would have none of it.
Thomas had 29 points and 13 rebounds, and Maryland spoiled Quinnipiac’s debut in the women’s NCAA Tournament by pulling away for a 72-52 victory Saturday in College Park, Md.
The fourth-seeded Terrapins (25-7) trailed by 9 in the first half, scrambled to take a 27-23 lead at the break, and dominated the second half against the smaller Bobcats, who couldn’t stop Thomas’s repeated forays into the lane.
Tianna Hawkins had 23 points and 16 rebounds for Maryland, which will face Michigan State on Monday night in the second round of the Bridgeport Regional.
Felicia Barron scored 13 points for No. 13 seed Quinnipiac (30-3), the Northeast Conference champions. The Bobcats were unbeaten since a 74-57 defeat against Georgia Tech Dec. 29. But none of those 22 opponents had the height or talent of the Terrapins, who finished tied for second in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
‘‘They’re a lot longer than we are, that’s for sure,’’ Quinnipiac forward Brittany McQuain said. ‘‘If we had played against those bodies all year long, we definitely would have been more prepared.’’
Michigan State 55, Marist 47 — Kiana Johnson scored 16 points, Annalise Pickrel added 14, and the fifth-seeded Spartans held off the Red Foxes at College Park, Md.
Jasmine Thomas added 10 points for the Spartans (25-8), who advanced to the second round for the eighth time in nine NCAA appearances.
Vanderbilt 60, St. Joseph’s 54 — Tiffany Clarke had 16 points and 12 rebounds, Jasmine Lister added 14 points, and the eighth-seeded Commodores (21-11) stopped the Red Storm in Storrs, Conn., to earn a date with Connecticut in the Bridgeport Regional on Monday.
Oklahoma 78, Central Michigan 73 — Joanna McFarland had 18 points and a career-high 17 rebounds and Aaryn Ellenberg scored 18 of her 22 points in the second half to lead the sixth-seeded Sooners (23-10) past the Chippewas (21-12) in Columbus, Ohio, in the Oklahoma City Regional.
UCLA 66, Stetson 49 — Nirra Fields (13 points) led a balanced attack and the third-seeded Bruins (26-7) jumped to an 11-0 lead and rolled over the Hatters (24-9) in Columbus.
Tennessee 83, Oral Roberts 62 — Meighan Simmons scored 18 points, and the No. 2 seed Lady Vols (25-7) rolled over the Golden Eagles (18-13) at Knoxville, Tenn., for their first tournament victory of the post-Pat Summitt era.
The Lady Vols, who will face Creighton in the second round, got points from all 11 players and improved to 51-0 in NCAA Tournament games on their home floor.
Creighton 61, Syracuse 56 — McKenzie Fujan scored a career-high 24 points as the 10th-seeded Bluejays (25-7) stifled a furious rally by the Orange (24-8) over the final five minutes to advance.
It was Creighton’s first NCAA Tournament victory since 1992.
Iowa State 72, Gonzaga 60 — Chelsea Poppens scored 19 points, Hallie Christofferson scored 11 of her 18 in the second half, and the fifth-seeded Cyclones (24-8) defeated the host Bulldogs (27-6) in the Spokane Regional.
Georgia 70, Montana 50 — Jasmine Hassell scored 16 points, Shacobia Barbee added 13, and the fourth-seeded Lady Bulldogs (26-6) used a big run midway through the second half to pull away from the Lady Griz (24-8) in Spokane.
California 90, Fresno St. 76 — Brittany Boyd scored 21 points and added a career-high 13 rebounds and the second-seeded Golden Bears (29-3) dominated the Bulldogs (24-9) in Lubbock, Texas.
South Florida 71, Texas Tech 70 — Inga Orekhova scored 20 points, including five 3-pointers, to lead the No. 10 seed Bulls (22-10) past the Lady Raiders (21-11) in Lubbock.
South Carolina 74, South Dakota State 52 — Ashley Brunner had 15 points and 11 rebounds as the No. 4 Gamecocks (25-7) had little trouble beating the Jackrabbits (25-8) in Boulder, Colo., in the Norfolk Regional.
Kansas 67, Colorado 52 — Angel Goodrich and Carolyn Davis each scored 14 points and the 12th-seeded Jayhawks (19-13) stunned the Buffaloes (25-7) on their home court.
Texas A&M 71, Wichita State 45 — Kristi Bellock tied a career high with 18 points and the No. 3 Aggies (25-9) cruised past the Shockers (24-10) at College Station, Texas.
Nebraska 73, Chattanooga 59 — Jordan Hooper made four 3-pointers in the second half and finished with 21 points, helping the sixth-seeded Cornhuskers (24-8) rally from 9 points down to beat Lady Mocs (29-4) at College Station.
Fordham 58, BU 44 — Marah Strickland scored 14 points to power the host Rams (26-8) past the Terriers (24-6) in the second round of the Women’s NIT.
Seniors Chantell Alford and Kristen Sims led the Terriers with 12 points each while junior Rashidat Agboola grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.
Drexel 82, Harvard 72 — Christine Clark and Victoria Lippert each had 15 points and the Crimson (21-9) shot a season-high 57 percent but couldn’t overcome the host Dragons (24-10), who received a 32-point effort from Hollie Mershon.