Several things became apparent early as the Maryland Terrapins women's basketball team opened their 2014-2015 season with a 109-45 win over Mount St. Mary's. Among them: The Terps will run at every opportunity. Maryland will not be shy about launching three point shots. There are some holes their various presses and the team has some distance to travel if they are going to rebound as fans have come to expect from a Brenda Frese coached team.
Maryland scored the first nine points of the game and had opened their lead to 22-7 when Mountaineers coach Bryan Whitten used his second timeout. By the third media timeout, the Terps' advantage had inflated to 20 at 35-15 and every player on the roster other than the injured A'Lexus Harrison, had seen time on the floor. In a game that played more like an extended scrimmage Maryland held a 57-25 halftime lead.
In building the first half margin, the Terrapins launched 11 three point attempts making three. They scored 18 points on 12 Mount turnovers and had a 12-0 edge in fast break points. The Terps were also an exceptional 12-13 from the free throw line.
Although Maryland held a comfortable 23-13 rebounding edge, the Mount secured nearly half of their rebounds on the offensive glass despite lacking a player over 6'1" on their roster.
Maryland turned up the defensive pressure to open the second half. The Terrapins picked up 10 of their 17 steals and through the first 12 minutes of the period, Mount St, Mary's managed only nine shots and had scored only 10 points. Meanwhile, the Terps continued to fire away as their lead surpassed 50 before the game's final media timeout.
The only real question was whether and when the Terps would surpass 100 points for the first time in a season opener since 2005. Brene Moseley supplied the answer scoring on a lay up with 2:16 to play to push the margin to 101-45. The Terps held the Mount without a field goal over the last six minutes of the game.
Some team impressions
For the first game of the season, Maryland shared the ball well and functioned as a team on nearly every level. Not only did all eleven players score, but each had at least one rebound. The Terps had 26 assists on 40 baskets and a number of the unassisted scores came after steals and drives to the hoop.
Seven Terrapins hoisted three point shots with the Terps converting on seven of their 21 attempts. The Terps shot 58 percent for the game and made 22 of their 26 free throws. Seven Terps scored in double figures led by 16 each from junior Tierney Pfirman and freshman Kiara Leslie. On the boards, they finished with a rebounding margin of 44-30 led by Pfirman's eleven. The double double is the second of her career. However, as Coach Frese said after the game, "I thought we improved in that area and I still think there's a huge ceiling for us in that area. I still thought there were quite a few rebounds that we could have gotten."
Some individual impressions
Of the freshman, Kristen Confroy was the first off the bench and looks to have a very balanced game. She looked composed and picked up a team leading seven assists without a turnover in her 22 minutes of play.
Kiara Leslie showed flashes of brilliance and displayed a range of talent on the offensive end. Said Frese, "I though she was spectacular. She doesn't realize yet how talented she is. That's the most exciting thing. I thought she really grew in this game. I thought she was confident shooting the ball. You could see her power, her strength and her athleticism that gives us another great option."
Aja Ellison played 13 minutes. In her time on the floor, she looked like a player whose length will in time become troublesome for Maryland's opponents. At this stage, her game seems a bit raw.
For the returners, Lexie Brown played only 18 minutes but looked like the player we all expect her to be. She had four assists and one turnover and shot two for five from behind the arc for six of her twelve points.
Coming off the bench, Tierney Pfirman was ready to play from the start grabbing a rebound and scoring on a put back in her first minute of play. As her seven for eight shooting shows, she played under control and was judicious in her shot selection showing a nice touch on her mid-range jumper.
Chloe Pavlech and Brene Moseley also played well off the bench. Pavlech dropped in two late three pointers in scoring ten points while Moseley added four assists, three steals and scored eight points.
Maryland returns to action Sunday at 2:00 pm. They will host Wagner in a game that can be seen on BTNPlus.