COLLEGE PARK, MD — Though their opponents change and their record fluctuates, there’s one constant that the Maryland Terrapins women’s basketball team always abides by, and that’s playing “Maryland basketball.”
That brand, which players have talked about in the past, involves defending, rebounding, and running.
In their matchup against the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers Friday morning, the Terps started slow but eventually got back to those Maryland basketball roots, overcoming an early deficit to win 106-42.
“I thought we had a very slow, sluggish start,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said. “We weren’t as crisp as we normally are — too many turnovers — but I thought we did a better job of kind of settling in.”
After outscoring the Mountaineers just 18-13 in the first quarter, the Terps extended their margin in the second period, giving them a 37-20 lead at the half.
Maryland out-rebounded Mount St. Mary’s 27-12 in the first half, including seven boards by senior Brionna Jones.
Jones finished with a double-double on a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds, and said the Terps tackled the early goings of the game with that Maryland basketball mentality.
“Everything starts with defense,” Jones said, “so if we’re not getting stops, we can’t get out in transition. Just getting back to those habits and focusing in...I think that’s going to help us get back to ourselves.”
Despite 12 first-half turnovers, the Terps were able to maintain a lead by holding the Mountaineers to just 18.8 percent shooting from the field in the second quarter.
“The second half was a much better indicator in terms of how we want to play for 40 minutes,” Frese said. Maryland limited their turnovers to seven in the last two periods.
Freshman Blair Watson and redshirt junior Ieshia Small took control for the Terps late in the game. They finished with 15 and 18 points, respectively, on a combined 8-of-11 shooting. Watson, though, said she didn’t feel any pressure to carry her squad in the second half.
“Coach always tells us to be prepared when your number is called,” Watson said. “It’s a team game. Nobody can do it alone.”
The Terps were able to coast through the fourth quarter thanks to a 17-0 run to open the frame. They outscored the Mountaineers 35-13 in the period.
Maryland will play its first road game of the season Sunday against Niagara.