Maryland women’s basketball is 10-0 after easily dispatching of Loyola (Md.) at Xfinity Center in an early tipoff Monday.
In front of on Field Trip Day, the No. 7 Terps gave the thousands of elementary and middle schoolers in attendance plenty to cheer about. The 83-48 final score is hardly a surprise against a Greyhounds team that dropped to 0-10 with the loss, but Maryland played a well-rounded game, shooting 57.6 percent from the field and committing just 11 turnovers on offense. On the other end of the floor, the Terps held Loyola to 29.6 percent shooting and turned 17 turnovers into a whopping 27 points.
Freshmen Taylor Mikesell and Shakira Austin led Maryland with 19 and 17 points, respectively. Mikesell went 7-of-10 from the floor and 5-of-7 from three, while Austin shot 8-of-12 and pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds. Juniors Stephanie Jones and Kaila Charles joined them in double figures, with Jones chipping in 13 points and Charles adding 12. Delaney Connolly paced the Greyhounds with 17 points.
If it weren’t for Loyola’s three-point shooting, this game would have been even more of a blowout. The Greyhounds made 12 long balls on 27 attempts, which made up for their complete inability to score inside. Maryland held Loyola to 4-of-27 shooting on two-pointers.
Both sides got off to rather sluggish starts. Loyola shot 2-of-12 in the first quarter, but pulled down five offensive rebounds to keep the ball out of Maryland’s hands. The score was 9-8 with 1:48 remaining in the quarter, but the Terps caught fire, scoring 10 points to close the period and take a double-digit lead at 19-8.
Sara Vujacic and Mikesell drilled three-pointers to start the second quarter, prompting a Greyhounds timeout. But the Maryland run continued, reaching 21-3 overall and vaulting the score to 30-11. The Terps led 45-25 at halftime, led by Mikesell’s 14 points on 4-of-5 three-point shooting. Austin had 11 points and six rebounds in just nine minutes.
Maryland cruised through the second half, stretching its lead to 62-35 through three quarters and as high as 35 points in the final frame, which held up as the final margin. The Terps ultimately led for 37:20 out of 40 minutes.
Brenda Frese’s team is on the road for its next two contests, with long breaks before both games. Maryland will visit Delaware on Dec. 20 after finals, then start Big Ten play at Penn State on Dec. 28.
Three things to know
1. The Terps didn’t let up. Maryland hasn’t had many dominant 40-minute performances this season, letting a few large leads turn into tense games late. Even in a 24-point win over James Madison on Saturday, the teams tied in the second half. Maryland outscored Loyola in all four quarters Monday, just the fourth time it’s done that this season.
2. The freshmen continued to stand out. Mikesell and Austin have wasted no time in becoming Maryland’s second- and fourth-leading scorers this year, and both were dominant once again Monday. Mikesell’s 19 points were one shy of her career high, and she’s now shooting 40.5 percent from three this season. Loyola, predictably, never had any answers for the 6’5 Austin, who turned in her fourth double-double of the year.
3. Field trip day remains a unique experience. I covered this team for two years but had class for both 11 a.m. tipoffs. With Sean covering a men’s soccer national championship, I was happy to fill in. The arena was far from full, but the few thousand children in attendance kept up the energy all game. The highlight was the first media timeout, where they did an “I Scream for Ice Cream” contest, which ... well, it went exactly how you’d expect.