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Takeaways from Maryland women’s basketball’s season-opening win at George Mason

With Diamond Miller injured, the Terps looked to others for help.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.

No. 17 Maryland women’s basketball handily defeated George Mason, 88-51, to start the season on a good note as the Terps controlled the tempo right from the opening tip. However, the victory did not come without some heartache.

Maryland was tested early.

Senior forward Diamond Miller left the game in the second quarter with what appeared to be a knee injury. She did not return in the contest. Head coach Brenda Frese said the injury was “nothing too serious,” and that Miller will be checked out again when they return to College Park.

The same injury occurred with Emma Chardon, who also left the game and did not return. For the remainder of the game, the Terps needed a new No. 1 scoring option.

The answer was one of Maryland’s newest members in graduate guard Abby Meyers. The 2021-2022 Ivy League Player of the Year ended her first half 5-for-8 from the field with 13 points and kept Maryland in control as the Terps headed into halftime with a 22-point lead.

Everyone seemed to step up and contribute after Miller went into the locker room. Bri McDaniel had some quality points; Lavender Briggs ended the half scoreless but provided six rebounds.

Miller is one of the top returners in the Big Ten and a dominant scorer. She did not return to the game in the first half but was on the bench to begin the second. Sophomore forward Shyanne Sellers started the second half in place of Miller and contributed some early baskets, as well as Lavender Briggs, who went scoreless in the first half and had nine points and seven boards midway through the third quarter.

Playing the remainder of the game with 10 active players forced Maryland to go into the bench, where it outscored George Mason, 42-12.

Maryland improved from deep as the game went on.

Maryland started the game knocking down shots from long range, which was something it struggled to do during the preseason. It went into halftime hitting 6-of-12 attempts. It was something Frese said after a morning practice that improvements will come as the team continues to learn each other.

Meyers led the Terps with four 3-pointers at the end of the third quarter and Maryland ended the game shooting 55% from deep.

“We got in the gym and worked in that way. I think every game is going to be different, I think when you have the hot hand and you’re really feeling it like you saw tonight it’s a good thing,” Frese said.

Meyers credited Elisa Pinzan for finding her with open looks throughout the game.

“I always say she’s someone who wants to find her teammates,” Meyers said. “She wants to know their tendencies, she wants to learn where you like the ball placed ... I think that she’s a very selfless point guard.