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Maryland women’s basketball beats George Washington, 80-54

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The Terps cruise to another home win.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Maryland at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland women’s basketball continues to roll through non-conference play, topping George Washington, 80-54, for its seventh straight win.

Blair Watson led Maryland on offense, finishing just one shy of her career high with 19 points and five three-pointers. The Terps had five players in double figures, including Brianna Fraser, who had 10 points and five rebounds after missing Wednesday’s game with an ankle injury.

Maryland free-throw shooting improved to 88 percent, after sitting under 60 percent the last three games, but the Terps once again struggled to take care of the basketball, finishing with 20 turnovers.

While Maryland is usually known for its efficient offense, the Terps’ defense stood out Friday. Maryland was excellent in the halfcourt, forcing 20 turnovers while shutting down the Colonials’ offense.

Watson powered Maryland early, scoring eight points in a row in the first quarter to give the Terps a 10-2 lead. The sophomore guard had 11 points by the end of the first quarter, and shot 3-for-6 from behind the arc.

While Watson led the Terps on the offensive end, she contributed to a stellar team effort on the defensive end as well. GW went deep in the shot clock on multiple possessions in the first quarter and struggled to get looks around the basket.

The Colonials definitely missed 6’5 center Kelli Prange, who sat out her third straight game with concussion symptoms. Not only were looks inside few and far between for GW, but it also struggled to contain Maryland on the glass. The Terps outrebounded GW 45-28, including 20 offensive rebounds.

After Maryland jumped out to an early lead, the Colonials would only get within seven points for the rest of the game. Immediately after GW cut the lead to 17-10, the Terps answered with five points to extend the lead to 22-10.

Maryland took control of the game in the second quarter, matching its high intensity on the defensive end with good shot selection on offense. A putback from Stephanie Jones off an Ieshia Small missed free throw gave Maryland a 37-12 lead, its largest of the half.

The Colonials hit two shots in the final minute to put them in double digits for the quarter, but Maryland still was up 41-21 at halftime.

The Terps led by as much as 32 in the second half, and never let the Colonials back into the game.

Maryland has its last game before taking a break for final exams Monday against Loyola at 6 p.m.

Three things to know

1. Maryland’s defense was solid. Although the numbers may not show it, the Terps looked as lock in on defense as they have all season. Especially in the first half, Maryland’s was relentless. It helped that GW was without its leading scorer, but it’s still encouraging to see the Terps play hard on defense for a whole game.

2. Turnovers were an issue, again. Maryland committed 20 turnovers, the fourth time in five game it has committed more than 15. It wasn’t an issue Friday night, but has been when the Terps are trying to maintain separation in close games.

3. Blair Watson’s shot has returned. Heading into Wednesday’s game against Mount St. Mary’s, Watson was 4-for-21 from behind the arc in Maryland’s previous three games. In the Terps’ last two contests, she’s hit eight of 17 threes. Watson is up to 34 three-pointers through just 10 games, and is almost halfway to Kristen Confroy’s sophomore record of 73.