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Maryland women's basketball preview: Terps battle Central Connecticut State Blue Devils

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The Maryland women's basketball is hoping to improve to 8-0 on the season when they host Central Connecticut in College Park.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

If Maryland women’s basketball can beat the Blue Devils at Xfinity Center on Saturday, they’ll be 8-0. No, the Terps won’t be playing THOSE Blue Devils. They’ll be playing Central Connecticut State, a school with a much more notable name (23 letters—the longest name in Division I that isn’t generally shortened or abbreviated) than women’s basketball team (1-6, good for dead last in the Northeast conference).

The Blue Devils’ lone win came on Nov. 17 against UMass Lowell. (Remember them?) Since then, they’ve lost 5 straight, and they’ve been outscored by double digits in 5 of their 6 losses overall. The game can be streamed on BTN2Go or attended in person.

Central Connecticut State (1-6)

The coach

Beryl Piper. Holds a career 113-134 record in her 9th season as a head coach. Piper graduated from CCSU in 1987, when the team played in Division II. She also coached for 19 years and won 3 state titles at nearby New Britain High School before taking her current position.

Players to know

Camden Musgraves, sophomore, guard, 5’7, No. 3. Has scored in double digits in each of her last four games. Leads the team with 12.0 ppg and is shooting 39.4% from the floor on 6.6 attempts per contest.

Aleah Epps, junior, guard, 5’4, No. 24. Epps’ 8.1 ppg and 2.7 apg are second and first on the team, respectively.

TeJahne Malone, senior, forward, 5’9, No. 40. Broke out as an everyday starter last year, averaging 11 points and 8 rebounds in her junior campaign. She’s dipped to 6.3 and 6.1 thus far, but it’s a small sample size.

Strength

Forcing turnovers. Maybe it’s partly their opponents, but the Blue Devils have 9.6 steals per game, compared to 8.7 spg for their counterparts. Three players (senior guard Kayla Miller, Musgraves and Malone) average at least 1.6 spg.

Weakness

Size. I’m getting tired of labeling this as a weakness for every single team, but if your best rebounder is the same height as the Terps’ starting point guard, you’re gonna have a bad time. They’ve also only averaged 1.3 blocks a night. Look for the Terps to dominate the post even more than usual Saturday afternoon.

Thomas’ Prediction: Maryland, 102-47.