The first two games of the season proved no test for the Maryland Terrapins women's basketball team. Though they never trailed in their third game it proved a bit more rigorous. The first road game proved an even greater challenge.The Terps struggled from the free throw line, turned the ball over 20 times, and trailed at the half. Still they came away with a 75-65 win.
First half - Not at all intimidated
George Washington made it clear from the opening tip that they would not be intimidated playing a top ten team. They attacked in every facet of the game - offense, defense, and rebounding. After scoring on a layup to open the game, the Colonials went immediately into a press. The opening basket scored by GW marked the first time Maryland had trailed in any game this season. The teams traded baskets and GW led 8-6 at the first media time out.
Maryland coach Brenda Frese used her bench liberally early on and the Terps got a spark from A'Lexus Harrison who scored seven points early including scoring on a traditional three point play that gave the Terrapins their first lead of the game at 13-10. The Colonials answered immediately with a three point jumper by Montgomery County native freshman Kelli Prange.
In a first half that was difficult to watch, the teams combined for 27 field goals and 28 turnovers - with Maryland claiming 13 of those. The Colonials also held the halftime edge in rebounds 17-16, assists 8-5, and more importantly on the scoreboard 30-29 after an official review determined that Tierney Pfirman's jumper had come after the buzzer.
The Terps, who shot 45 percent overall, were a bit too eager to shoot from beyond the arc where they went 1-9 in the first half. Maryland was also uncharacteristically ineffective from the free throw line where they missed four of their six attempts.
Second half - A better effort
Maryland began to assert themselves at the start of the second half opening the half on a 12-4 run in part with an assist from the home team who turned the ball over twice and missed three layups in the opening five minutes of the stanza.
Turnover problems continued to plague the Colonials while Maryland didn't pick up their first turnover until an offensive foul on Laurin Mincy with 10:47 to play in the half. They would turn it over six more times before the game ended. On the other hand, it had been Mincy, along with Shatori Walker- Kimbrough who fueled the Terrapins run on the offensive end. Mincy, who had scored only two points in the first half scored nine in the early going while Shatori added eight. A three pointer from the corner by Lexi Brown pushed Maryland's lead to 13 and prompted a GW timeout with just over eight minutes to play.
Trailing by 13 as the clock ticked under eight minutes, the Colonials went to a half-court trapping defense after every made basket that the Terps handled easily but didn't aggressively attack preferring to shorten the game. It's likely that Maryland would have put the game away with ease had they been able to convert their free throws early in the half. At one point late in the half , the Terps were 7-16 from the line but over the closing minutes, they made nine of their last ten finishing the game 16-28.
Mincy led all scorers with 23 points. She was joined in double figures by Shatori with 16 and 14 from Brown. The Terps and Colonials both had 7 second half turnovers and GW out rebounded Maryland by three 39-36. The number 8/9 Terps move to 4-0 on the season and return to action Monday night when they host Loyola at the Xfinity Center.