Maryland women’s basketball is officially back. The Terps demolished Glenville State, 130-61, in their first preseason scrimmage on Sunday.
Unsurprisingly, Maryland dominated the game from the beginning, looking to push at all times and get easy baskets in transition. Seven players scored in double figures, with Kaila Charles and Stephanie Jones leading the way with 27 points each. Brionna Fraser had the only double-double of the day, finishing with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Maryland shot 67 percent from the field, compared to just 25 percent for Glenville State. The only thing the Pioneers did better than the Terps was clean up the offensive glass, winning that battle 26-16. That doesn’t look good, but it’s hard to get second-chance opportunities when you shoot 67 percent.
The Pioneers were a much better team than the ones the Terps played in last year’s exhibitions. Glenville State went 24-6 last year, and made the Division II NCAA Tournament. The Pioneers also beat Bluefield State—who Maryland demolished 146-17 last year and made national news doing it—by 53 points last year.
Even though the game doesn’t count, here are some things to take away from this one.
It was an unusual starting lineup.
Sunday’s starting five was different from the one Maryland had in Taiwan for the World University Games. The Terps trotted out Charles, Kristen Confroy, Sarah Myers, Watson and Jones. Myers and Watson usually came off the bench in Taiwan.
This probably won’t happen once they start playing actual games, but it was certainly unexpected to see Myers and Watson being introduced instead of Brianna Fraser and Channise Lewis.
Stephanie Jones looked a lot like her sister at times.
The sophomore had the team’s first six points, and on one sequence you could’ve sworn it was her sister on the court. She started with her back to the basket, missed the layup, got her own rebound and converted the second chance opportunity.
It may sound ordinary, but Brionna made a living doing that last season. The younger Jones spent Sunday afternoon making smart plays around the basket, and minimized mistakes as well.
Channise Lewis will be fun to watch.
Although she doesn’t play the game with the same exuberance or fearlessness as Destiny Slocum, the freshman should make plenty of plays this season.
Not even 10 seconds after she gets in, Channise Lewis finds Blair Watson on a half-court pass for a layup. Terps lead, 14-4.— Justin Fitzgerald (@jfitzgerald52) October 29, 2017
She doesn’t pack the same scoring punch as Slocum either, but looks to be strong enough outside shooter to keep defenses honest. More importantly, she finished with seven assists and just three turnovers, which is a solid assist-to-turnover ratio.
Lewis should have growing pains, like any freshman, Maryland fans can expect her to be a solid floor general.
Blair Watson could have a breakout season.
The way Watson plays can keep coaches up at night. She’s a pest defensively, creating turnovers and transition opportunities. She also runs the floor well, and like a lot of the players on Maryland’s roster, looks to create opportunities for her teammates down the court. Watson had 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists Sunday, and with a bigger role this season, we could see why she was named a McDonald’s All-American in 2016.