When a team has eight days between games, the same question always surrounds them as they return to action: will they be rested, or rusty?
Maryland women's basketball was rested. The Terps, ranked No. 5 in the nation, thrashed Maryland Eastern Shore Saturday afternoon by a 106-30 final score. The 76-point margin of victory is the largest in school history.
Maryland jumped out to a 20-5 advantage after one quarter, and kept the foot on the gas in the second period to take a 53-13 lead into halftime. After a good-but-not-freakishly-good third quarter, the team held UMES to a whopping 1 fourth-quarter point to put the exclamation point on its 11th win of the season.
The offensive attack was once again led by junior guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, who poured in 17 points in the first half and 23 in the game, Junior guard Brene Moseley and sophomore guard Kiara Leslie came off the bench to add 23 and 22, respectively. Freshman forward Brianna Fraser led the way with 8 rebounds in an increased workload of 23 minutes. Because of the lopsidedness of the game, nine different Terps played at least 18 minutes and scored at least 3 points.
Maryland shot the ball with stunning accuracy Sunday afternoon. The team made 42 of 62 (67.7%) field goal attempts and was 14-21 (66.7%) from downtown. Four different players (Walker-Kimbrough, Moseley, Leslie and sophomore guard Kristen Confroy) made three apiece.
Three things to know
1. Kristen Confroy started her first career game. The sophomore replaced Kiah Gillespie in the lineup and scored 9 points on 3-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Coach Frese continues to experiment with different combinations, but it's more than likely Confroy begins next Monday's game on the bench.
2. If you're looking for a weakness, it's the defensive rebounding. UMES notched 18 offensive boards. But even that number looks less noteworthy in context: the Terps had 41 defensive rebounds, and starters Brionna Jones and Malina Howard didn't play that much.
3. Maryland's next opponent is a lot better. Next Monday, the Terps will head up to Madison Square Garden to play Connecticut, winner of the last three national championships and No. 1 team in the nation once again. The Huskies will present a challenge unlike anything the Terps have seen thus far, but Brenda Frese has 8 days to prepare her team. This should be interesting.