Women's basketball preview: Terps host Wake Forest in ACC home opener

Cynthia Greenlee

The Terps begin a three game ACC home stand Thursday night when Wake Forest comes to the Comcast Center.

Thursday night, the sixth ranked Maryland women's basketball team will play their first and last home game against an ACC team from North Carolina as a member of the ACC when they host the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in a 7 pm tip. This is the first of three consecutive home games for Maryland who will look to move to 2-0 in conference play and extend their winning streak to twelve games. Wake Forest enters the game with a mark of 9-5 and 0-1 in conference play when Miami snapped the Deacs five game winning streak with an 84-53 romp in Winston Salem on Saturday.

Though Wake doesn't look like a formidable foe on paper, the Terps cannot afford to take them lightly. The teams last met in the 2013 ACC Tournament and Maryland needed overtime to defeat an inspired squad that had finished 5-13 in league play and 13-19 overall.

This year's Demon Deacons team features the top two scorers in the ACC. Dearica Hamby, a 6'3" junior, leads the league averaging 21 points per game. The junior from Marietta is also second in the ACC in rebounding pulling down 11.1 per game just behind Maryland's Alyssa Thomas. Senior guard Chelsea Douglas sits just behind Hamby scoring at a 20.1 points per game clip. In last season's ACC Tournament, Hamby was hampered by foul trouble and was ineffective. Douglas, on the other hand, torched the Terps scoring 31 points while dishing out 5 assists.

The Terrapins, of course, have a few weapons of their own beginning with Alyssa Thomas who leads the 13-1 Terps in scoring (17.6) and rebounding (11.2). After having to sit for most of Maryland's season opener, the preseason and two time ACC Player of the Year has registered thirteen consecutive double-doubles and has notched two triple doubles during that span.

Joining Thomas is rising star Shatori Walker-Kimbrough. The Pennsylvania freshman, who recently won her second consecutive ACC Rookie of the Week Award is second on the team in scoring tallying 11.4 points per game. Walker-Kimbrough is fifteenth in the ACC in field goal percentage and leads the league in three point shooting making nearly 54% of her three point attempts.

Maryland shares the ball exceptionally well with 20 assists per game. They are led by freshman Lexie Brown who dishes out 4.2 assists followed closely by Brene Moseley and Thomas who each average 3.4 assists per game.

Look for the Terps to flex their muscles and dominate the Demon Deacons on the boards. Despite losing the rebound battle to North Carolina on Sunday, Maryland still out rebounds their opponents by nearly sixteen rebounds per game. Wake Forest also doesn't protect the ball averaging over 18 turnovers while scoring only 73 points per game. By comparison, the Terps turn the ball over fifteen times while averaging eighty-six points a game which ranks third in the ACC and ninth nationally.

Game-time: 7 p.m. Thursday

How to watch: The game will air on TerpsTV Premium.

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