clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Maryland women’s basketball vs. UMBC preview

The No. 7 Terps host the Retrievers for an in-state battle.

Maryland women’s basketball Stephanie Jones vs. Georgia Tech Lila Bromberg / Testudo Times

Maryland women’s basketball has had a second-half problem of late. On Thursday against Georgia Tech, the Terrapins let a huge halftime lead slip away and allowed the opposition to get within a single point for the second straight game. Last Saturday, Georgia even took a brief lead.

Despite their troubles, though, the Terps remain undefeated through seven games. It’s a good sign that they can continue to win while not playing well, but at a certain point, they’ll need to put together a full game.

On Sunday, Maryland will get a chance to right the ship. In-state foe UMBC will come to the Xfinity Center for a chance to knock off the No. 7-ranked Terrapins. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET and can be streamed on BTN Plus.

UMBC Retrievers (6-2)

2017 record: 5-26 (3-13 America East)

Head coach Phil Stern is in his 17th season in charge of the Retrievers. In 2007, he took the program to its first-ever America East championship, and thus, its first NCAA Tournament appearance. Since, UMBC has made the WNIT and WBI with some consistency, and the team clinched consecutive berths in 2016 and 2017. Before Baltimore County, Stern headed programs at USC Aiken and Dowling College.

Players to know

Janee’a Summers, sophomore, forward, 5’11, No. 1. Summers has been terrific so far in this young season. A year after averaging just 5.5 points per game over 27.2 minutes, the sophomore has raised her scoring average to 14.3 points, nearly tripling her previous output. Summers has also been a threat on the glass, as the 5’11 forward has grabbed 7.1 boards per outing thus far.

Paula Rubio, freshman, guard, 5’10, No. 12. Rubio has just eight games under her belt thus far, but the freshman has carved out a vital role with the Retrievers. As the starting point guard, Rubio has been the main facilitator, and she’s averaging 2.9 assists along with 5.5 points per game.


Defense. Like the Terrapins, UMBC’s success has been in large part due to a stifling defense that keeps opponents off the scoreboard. Through eight games, the Retrievers have allowed 54.3 points per game, good for second in the America East and 36th in the nation. Opponents are shooting just 34.7 percent from the field against them.


Size. UMBC has two players that stand 6’2, and the rest of the team is 6’0 or smaller. It hasn’t been a detriment yet, as the Retrievers have rebounded at a plus-4.6 margin so far this season, good for second in their conference. However, against the best rebounding team in the country, that can become a big issue.

Three things to watch

1. Does the size difference play a factor? As the outside shooting has struggled, Maryland’s offensive success has come inside the paint. Stephanie Jones (6’2) has lead the way, but Brianna Fraser (6’3) and Shakira Austin (6’5) have delivered important contributions as well. The Terrapins have some great shooters, but if the going gets tough, look for Brenda Frese to drive the game plan inside.

2. Can the Terps find consistency? Against South Carolina and Morgan State, Maryland came out flat and struggled to get going until at least the second quarter. In the two games that followed against Georgia and Georgia Tech, the Terrapins nearly lost after horrific third-quarter performances. UMBC is a good team, but this is a great spot for Maryland to get back on track.

3. Does Kaila Charles continue her hot start? Just like last season, Charles has been the leader on offense to start her junior campaign. Her scoring output has dropped somewhat, but that’s more of an indictment on the excess talent around her than anything she’s done wrong individually. Against Georgia Tech, Charles went on a 9-0 run by herself to essentially win the game for Maryland. Should this one be close late, look for Charles to step up once again.