clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Maryland women’s basketball beats Albany, 91-58, in season opener

The Terps started slow, but turned on the jets and cruised to the win.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Maggie Dixon Classic-Maryland vs Connecticut Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

For about a quarter Friday night, Albany competed with No. 15 Maryland women’s basketball. The Great Danes matched the Terps’ intensity on both ends of the floor, and led for much of the early action.

But once Maryland finally got going, Albany was helpless. Propelled by a big second quarter, the Terps easily won their season opener, 91-58.

Blair Watson led Maryland with 16 points and was one of six players in double figures. Stephanie Jones had a monster night on the boards, finishing with 11 points and 18 rebounds for her first career double-double. Brianna Fraser also had her first career double-double, finishing with 14 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

The Terps didn’t have a great shooting night, finishing just 37 percent from the field and committing 21 turnovers. They made up for an off night offensively with a strong effort on the defensive end, forcing 28 turnovers and out-rebounding the Great Danes 60-42.

Jessica Fequiere finished with a game high 21 points for Albany.

Maryland looked unsettled on offense coming out of the gate. The Terps couldn’t get a lot of passes into the post, and started forcing shots. They shot 31 percent in the opening frame, and would’ve been trailing at the end of the quarter if not for a strong effort defensively.

After Albany hit its first three shots, the Great Danes shot just 30 percent the rest of the quarter. Maryland started to get scrappy on defense by taking charges and picking off diagrammed passes, forcing nine turnovers. Unfortunately, the offense was just as sloppy, committing 10 turnovers of their own. Both teams were tied at 14 at the end of the first quarter. If Maryland could clean up the turnovers, it was one run away from taking over the game.

That’s exactly what happened in the second quarter. An Alexi Schecter layup gave Albany a 16-14 lead, but that was the last time the Great Danes would score for over seven minutes. Blair Watson hit a three to give the Terps the lead, and that started a 25-0 Maryland run. The Terps were finally able to run in transition, and there was nothing Albany could do to stop them. By the time Bose Aiyalogbe hit a layup with 2:11 to go in the half, the Great Danes were down 39-18.

Maryland outscored Albany 30-4 in the second quarter and took a 44-18 lead into the locker room.

The Terps started to knock down threes in the third quarter, hitting five of 10 from beyond the arc and lead 74-37 after three. Albany looked better in the fourth quarter, but by then the game was all but over.

Maryland is back in action against defending champion and No. 4 South Carolina on Monday.

Three things to know

1. Despite the lopsided win, there’s still tons of room for improvement. If Maryland has that same first quarter on Monday, it might be down 15 points. It can afford to make those mistakes against Albany because they don’t have the talent to compete with the Terps for a whole game, but South Carolina is a different beast. As the game went on, there were a few wasted possessions on offense. This is a talented team, but also a young and inexperienced one, and that showed tonight.

2. Stephanie Jones owned the glass early. While she may not be the post presence that her sister was, the younger Jones did her best impersonation. She hit 10 rebounds midway through the second quarter, and had her first career double-double. She also made a few hustle plays throughout, picking off passes and going the extra mile for a few of her 18 rebounds.

3. It was a balanced effort on offense. Maryland had six in double figures Friday, and no one scored more than 16. The Terps don’t have a go-to scorer at the moment, but they didn’t need one tonight.