It would have required little true prescience to predict the lackluster start to today’s match up between the Brown Bears and the Maryland Terrapins. With no programs available, even the marketing department seemed thrown by the long winter break and the early 12:00 pm start. In front of a small and minimally enthusiastic group of die hard fans the Terps seemed content to watch – committing 5 turnovers on their first six possessions against Brown’s zone while the visitors made five of their first eight shots and crept out to leads of 5-0 and 10-6. It wasn’t until a Katie Rutan three pointer with just over 13 minutes remaining in the first half that Maryland grabbed its first lead at 16-14. Rutan’s jumper was part of a 9-0 run that was soon followed by a string of ten straight Terrapin points that would stretch the lead to sixteen. After trading baskets the Terps held a 37-24 halftime advantage despite 14 turnovers. Maryland used its speed, athleticism, and height to build its advantage. Facing a roster with no player over 6’2”, the Terps dominated down low outscoring the Bears 24-12 in the paint. The home team also dominated with a 10-0 edge in fast break points.
Brown continued its deliberate style of play in the second half holding the ball for more than 20 seconds on nearly every possession. This style didn’t daunt the Terps at all as they maintained great defensive intensity forcing the Bears into several shot clock violations and holding them to 17% shooting for a half in which the visitors would manage only 12 points. Still, Brown was able to stay within striking distance trailing by only 14 with 13 minutes left in the game. An old school three point play by Sequoia Austin ignited a 17 point Terrapin run over the next seven minutes to stretch the lead past thirty for the first time. The Terps outscored the Bears 14-5 over the remaining six minutes to reach the final margin of forty.
In addition to her three point play, Austin contributed 2 rebounds, 2 steals, and 3 assists while playing a career high 29 minutes. Tianna Hawkins led Maryland with 20 points on 9 of 9 shooting. She fell three rebounds shy of a double-double while playing only 25 minutes. Alyssa Thomas was just behind T-Hawk in scoring with sixteen while leading the team in rebounds with eight and assists with six. Showing good all around balance, all eight players scored, had a rebound and an assist. As a team, Maryland had 26 assists on 33 baskets and out rebounded their smaller opponent by nineteen. The Terps will face the Hartford Hawks in the championship game of the Terrapin Classic Saturday at 4:30 following the men’s game against Delaware State.