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No. 19 Maryland women’s basketball cruises past Davidson, 70-52

The Terps used a 25-point third quarter to pull away.

Photo courtesy of Taylor McLaughlin/Maryland Athletics

After a slow first half, No. 17 Maryland women’s basketball caught fire in the third quarter against Davidson. The Terps exploded for a 25-point quarter on 10-for-18 shooting.

The third-quarter surge gave Maryland a lead it never relinquished, as it cruised to a comfortable 70-52 win at home against Davidson to improve to 3-1.

The first quarter was competitive, as both teams struggled to take care of the basketball — Maryland and Davidson combined for 21 turnovers in the first 10 minutes. The Terps’ offense was led by star junior guard Diamond Miller, who cashed in on two 3-pointers. Miller continues to gain comfort following her knee injury in the season opener.

“We’re going to continue to keep growing with our chemistry. The 14 turnovers in the first half are really what kept the game too close,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said. “I thought we did a nice job of adjusting to that in the second half. [Lavender Briggs], Faith [Masonius] and [Shyanne Sellers], I thought they really gave us a punch that we needed to have to get some separation out there.”

Miller and company took a narrow 14-10 lead after the first 10 minutes.

The highlight of the opening period was Maryland senior guard Abby Meyers knocking down two free throws to score 1,000 career points. Meyers, a Maryland native, came to College Park after a decorated career at Princeton.

“It’s a huge accomplishment within your career and pretty exciting that she could do it here in Maryland in her own home state.” Frese said.

The Terps entered the second quarter with an emphasis to run in transition and find favorable shots. After recording 14 first-quarter points, Maryland consistently moved the basketball with precision.

With under a minute remaining until halftime, Miller showed why many are considering her a likely top five pick in next year’s WNBA Draft. The guard dribbled to her left, and then shot a smooth fadeaway jumper that swished through the net.

Maryland went into halftime with a 29-19 lead, holding Davidson to just a 27.6% clip from the field in the first half.

Though the Wildcats cut the lead to as little as eight multiple times in the third quarter, the Terps eventually pulled away. Powered by Faith Masonius’ eight-point third quarter, all of which came in the final five minutes of the frame, Maryland possessed a commanding 54-35 lead with just one quarter to play.

The separation Maryland earned in the third quarter was all it needed to put the finishing touches on Wednesday’s matinee showdown.

Maryland will hit the road on Sunday for a date with No. 18 Baylor on Sunday at 3 p.m. on ESPN+.

Three things to know

1. Maryland notched its third win of the season. The Terps had four players in double figures, led by Diamond Miller’s 19 points and 6 assists. Maryland newcomer Abby Meyers continued to play well, as she went 4-of-7 from behind the arc for 14 points on the day. Meyers has scored at least 10 points in her first four games in a Maryland uniform.

2. Maryland’s turnover issue is concerning. Early in the contest, Maryland struggled to value the basketball, recording 14 turnovers in the first half. The majority of the Terps’ turnovers resulted from miscommunication and errant passes. Maryland doesn’t have the roster from year’s past to overcome a plethora of turnovers, which adds increased importance on taking care of the ball. The Terps’ schedule is inundated with ranked opponents, so finding a way to value possessions will be essential for their chances of securing victories.

3. The Terps’ defensive activity stifled Davidson the entire 40 minutes. While Maryland may not possess the length and size of previous teams, its defensive hustle allows it to harass ball handlers. The Terps forced 30 Davidson turnovers and held the Wildcats to 38.2% from the field. Maryland did a sufficient job contesting 3-point shots, limiting Davidson to a 30.8% clip and forcing 18 misses from three.

The Terps active hands paid dividends, as they registered 18 steals in the morning matchup. Maryland graduate guard Elisa Pinzan brought the intensity on defense with consistent on-ball pressure to affect Davidson’s flow on offense.