No. 20 Maryland women’s basketball looked to bounce back Thursday after being blown out by No. 1 South Carolina on Sunday. Instead, the Terps suffered a similar loss at No. 8 UConn, 80-48.
Here are some takeaways from Maryland’s second straight loss to a top-10 opponent.
Maryland’s shot selection was rushed throughout
Even though it lost by over 30 points against South Carolina, Maryland shot the ball well. It made 40.8% of its shots and went 45.5% from three-point range.
Thursday was a different story, as UConn’s defense forced Maryland’s offense to look out of rhythm throughout.
It all started in the first quarter, when players like forward Aaliyah Edwards and forward Aubrey Griffin dominated down low. The duo combined for three blocks in the first period, and their presence caused Maryland to put up contested shots on the perimeter. The Terps went 3-of-10 from three in the frame.
Inside the arc, Maryland then went 4-for-12 in the second quarter and committed 12 first-half turnovers.
“I thought [UConn’s] defensive intensity was far greater,” said head coach Brenda Frese.
By the time the second half rolled around, Maryland didn't have much gas left in the tank. It made a lowly six shots in the half.
Frese was adamant about the Terps needing help on offense: “We’ve gotta find some additional players to help us score the basketball,” she said.
It looks like Jakia Brown-Turner will be a steady contributor this season
Many questioned what role graduate transfer Jakia Brown-Turner would have this year in a new-look Maryland lineup.
So far, she’s looked like the second-best player on the team behind Shyanne Sellers.
She’s scored in double digits in every game so far, and even though she wasn’t very efficient against the Huskies, she showed a lot of confidence, attempting a season-high high 17 shots.
In a lineup without a lot of height, Brown-Turner has also proven to be a positive presence on the boards. She had five rebounds in each of the first two games, and led the way with seven rebounds against the Huskies.
It may be hard to see many positives after two straight blowout losses, but Brown-Turner showed how important she will be as the season goes on.
Another collapse minutes before halftime proved costly
Maryland once again kept it close until late in the second quarter. UConn went on a 11-2 run to make what was a six point game a 15-point Huskies lead at halftime. They wouldn’t lead by less than 12 after that point.
Ultimately, Maryland seemed like it hadn’t learned any lessons after its collapse against South Carolina.
Frese talked about if she tried to emphasize not getting blown out again on Thursday, but said that fatigue was a big factor. “If I knew how to fix it, it would’ve gotten fixed,” she said.
One of the main reasons for UConn’s takeover was Maryland getting in foul trouble. Three of Maryland’s starters had two fouls or more in the first half, with Sellers committing a team-high three. For the final three minutes of the half, Sellers had to be taken out of the game, which was loss for the Terps.
“UConn clearly has a lot more depth and talent and experience on their roster than where we’re at in this point of the season,” said Frese. “They just wore us down,”