Faced with the rough duty of having to play two games while spending Thanksgiving week in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the eighth ranked Maryland Terrapins women's basketball team took the court Friday afternoon to face the 23rd ranked James Madison Dukes in the first of those games. The Terps apparently digested their Thanksgiving dinner better than the Dukes improving their record to 6-0 at the expense of the the Dukes.
First half - Courtesy of Dukes' radio
The Dukes won the opening tip and although Maryland got a stop on that possession, James Madison scored the opening basket. The Terps responded with seven straight to take a 7-2 lead. With the Terps leading 11-4, JMU's Precious Hall sank back to back three pointers to close within a point. Maryland responded with a 9-0 run fueled by Laurin Mincy's three pointer and a pair of layups by Brene Moseley and Lexie Brown to push the lead into double figures for the first time and prompt a Madison timeout.
The squads traded scores out of the timeout and after a JMU turnover on a traveling call, Moseley hit a three from the corner that built Maryland's lead to 25-13 that they would take into the under eight minute media timeout. At that point, the Terps had forced 11 Dukes turnovers.
Continuing to force turnovers, the Terrapins extended their lead to 16 at 31-15 but JMU scored and picked up a steal to cut the lead to 12 and prompt Brenda Frese to call a timeout. Brianna Jones made the front end of a one and one but the Dukes continued to chip away and had the lead down to 11 when the media called their final timeout of the half.
As the half lengthened,Maryland began to make a living at the free throw line. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough made two free throws and Malina Howard made one of two making Maryland 10-12 from the line. The Terps closed the half with a three pointer by Lexie Brown, who led Maryland with nine points in the half, and a short jumper by A'Lexus Harrison.
Although the half ended with Maryland up by 13 at 40-27, JMU had a 19-18 edge in rebounding and had nearly counteracted their 13 turnovers by forcing 10 from the Terps.
Second half - Mostly playing even
The Terps forced a Dukes turnover on the first possession of the second half and capitalized on a basket by Mincy. The redshirt senior scored on Maryland's second possession to become the first Terrapin to score in double figures. After a Brionna Jones basket opened Maryland's lead to 15 at 46-31, JMU scored five straight and after another Mincy basket, Precious Hall made her second three pointer of the half and the Dukes were within nine for the first time since early in the first half.
Shatori and Hall traded three pointers and Harrison rebounded Malina Howard's missed free throw to put the Terps back up by eleven. JMU had a pair of chances to cut the lead to seven but a turnover and a missed shot gave Maryland another opportunity to extend the lead back into double figures and they turned to their senior to do just that. Mincy's basket allowed the Terps to take an 11 point lead 55-44 at the under twelve minute media timeout.
The Terps picked up a steal on JMU's inbound play to open the lead back to thirteen. After trading baskets, Shatori made one of two free throws to open the lead to 60-46. Play got a bit sloppy leading up to the third media timeout as the teams traded turnovers but a Bri Jones layup on which she drew a foul put Maryland up by 14 with a chance to go up 15 after the break.
Jones completed the traditional three point play but the Dukes refused to go away. They scored on their next possession and followed that with Precious Jones' sixth three pointer of the game after forcing a Terrapins' turnover that cut the lead back to ten.
Tierney Pfirman dropped in a short jumper and the Terps failed to capitalize on a Dukes' turnover. Eventually, Mincy added a short jumper that opened Maryland's lead back to 67-53. The Terps continued having problems with turnovers and held only a 67-55 lead with just over three minutes to play at the final media stoppage.
Pfirman scored her third basket off the bench in the first possession after the timeout. The Terrapins had two more chances to extend the lead but another turnover and a missed free throw on the front end of a one and one extended the suspense a bit. Mincy made two free throws and Hall scored twice for JMU - the second coming off a steal by the Dukes pulled them within twelve with just over a minute to play.
After Moseley made two free throws, Hall made her seventh three pointer and the score was 73-62. The Terps closed the game making four straight free throws and on a traditional three point play by Mincy, who led Maryland with 23 points to wrap up an 80-64 win.
The Terps move to 6-0 on the season while handing the Dukes their first loss dropping them to 4-1 on the young season. The Shootout continues Saturday at 2:30 for Maryland as the Terps will take on the Washington State Cougars.