Maryland women’s basketball didn’t have much trouble moving to a 9-0 on the season, coasting past James Madison for an 87-63 win.
The Terps opened up a double digit lead late in the first quarter, and never let the Dukes back into the game. Kaila Charles paced the Terps thanks to a monster first half, scoring 18 points in the opening 20 minutes and 24 for the game. Brianna Fraser took over in the second half, scoring 16 of her 24 points in the last 20 minutes and adding 11 rebounds for her first double-double of the season. Taylor Mikesell and Blair Watson also scored in double figures, with Mikesell chipping in 16 points and seven assists and Watson scoring 10 points and dishing out seven assists.
Maryland had little trouble carving up James Madison’s defense, shooting 53 percent for the game. The Terps dominated down low, scoring 42 points in the paint compared to the Dukes’ 22. James Madison didn’t really have an answer for Maryland’s transition game either with the Terps, scoring 21 fastbreak points.
Maryland kept CAA Preseason Player of the Year Kamiah Smalls in check, holding her to 18 points on 7-of-17 shooting. Madison Green added 17, and was the only other Duke besides Smalls to score more than seven points. The Terps held James Madison to 37 percent shooting from the field, and forced 19 turnovers as the Dukes tired later in the game.
Maryland committed 15 turnovers of its own, but after turning the ball over eight times in the first 15 minutes, didn’t give the ball away again until the game was well out of reach. The Terps continued to take care of the glass as well, outrebounding James Madison, 40-29.
James Madison did its best to control the tempo early, and took advantage of three Maryland turnovers to keep the game close for the first five minutes. But once the Terps started to get out in transition, the Dukes didn’t really have an answer, especially for Charles. Maryland closed the quarter on a 15-4 run to take a 26-15 lead, with Charles scoring 10 points.
The Terps continued to build their lead in the second quarter, playing sound defense and getting a variety of looks on the offensive end to build a 46-22 halftime lead. James Madison didn’t score for the last 3:59 of the second quarter, and missed its last six shots to end the half. The Dukes got as close as 18 in the fourth quarter, though Maryland was never really threatened in the second half.
The Terps will be back in action Monday against Loyola at 11 a.m. for field trip day.
Three things to know
- James Madison had no answer for Kaila Charles. The junior was able to do whatever she wanted, whether it was score in transition, off the dribble, or take it to the basket. The Dukes had no answer and Charles nearly put the game out of reach by herself in the first quarter.
- Taylor Mikesell saw extended time at point guard. The freshman ran the offense for most of the first half, as Channise Lewis struggled to make good passes in the halfcourt. Mikesell took over at point guard when Maryland made its run to close the first quarter, then did the same for the final eight minutes of the second quarter and start of the third.
- Blair Watson makes an impact even when her shot isn’t falling. Watson’s three-point shot hasn’t been as lethal so far this season, but that hasn’t stopped her from being a key cog on this team. She continues to play good defense, and has become a much better passer on offense after mostly having a catch-and-shoot role last year.