No. 19 Maryland women’s basketball (2-1) is playing three teams from the Atlantic 10 conference with the third of those coming to Xfinity Center on Nov. 16 for an early 11 a.m. matchup against Davidson.
“The A-10 is a really competitive conference from top to bottom,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said after the team’s victory over Fordham on Sunday. “Those type of mid-major teams are going to prepare you where you’re not just getting a 50-point blowout that oftentimes doesn’t teach you a lot. It allows you to keep seeing your strengths and weaknesses.”
Davidson Wildcats (1-1, 0-0 Atlantic-10)
2021-22 record: 18-15 (6-10 Atlantic-10)
Players to watch
Chloe Welch, graduate guard, five-foot-nine, No. 2 — A team captain, Welch does it all for the Wildcats. She’s a steady and consistent force in leading the lineup year in and year out. Through two games this season, she’s nearly averaging a double-double.
Suzi-Rose Deegan, senior guard, five-foot-ten, No. 0 — A four-year contributor, Deegan has provided good secondary scoring for all of her career. She exploded onto the scene in her freshman year, being named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year and All-A-10 first team, but has established a lesser, yet still important role over the years. She’s averaging 12.5 points this season.
Elle Sutphin, redshirt junior forward, six-foot-three, No. 33 — Sutphin had an outstanding 2021-22 campaign, shooting a team-high 53.2% from the field, which was third-best in the conference. She also reached the double-digit mark 24 times. She’s begun this season where she left off last, averaging 11 points with a couple of takeaways in the team’s opening games.
Returning talent. While the team’s total scoring leaves much to be desired, Davidson’s starting lineup is experienced together, with five upperclasswomen. The rotation also returns 81% of its scoring from last year’s squad.
Overall scoring. Overall scoring is something Davidson struggled with in its first two games. Granted, its two opponents were High Point and Duke, and one of those teams has much more experience and firepower than Davidson. The Wildcats have three players averaging over 10 points per game but how much they’ll contribute against a strong Maryland defense is yet to be seen.
Three things to watch
1. A deeply rooted connection. Davidson redshirt sophomore Maddie Plank was teammates with Maryland’s Abby Meyers for two seasons at Princeton University and for Maccabi USA in Israel. The pair won the 2022 Ivy League Championship and a gold medal for the U.S. delegation at the Maccabiah. It will be interesting to see how the matchup transpires and if the two guard each other.
2. Will rebounding improve? Frese was not too happy with the production on the glass against Fordham when the Terps allowed 17 offensive rebounds. Maryland had 10 in the game and a majority of them came in the first quarter of the game. With the loss of Emma Chardon to a meniscus tear, Maryland needs to use the remaining size it has to crash the boards.
3. Three-point range. Maryland has been a bit suspect from deep this season, dating back to the exhibition games. With sharpshooters like Diamond Miller, Lavender Briggs, Shyanne Sellers and Meyers, this really should not be an issue. On the flip side, Maryland’s ability to defend the perimeter has been good. It has held opponents to shoot just 29% from long range.