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Maryland women’s basketball vs. James Madison preview

The Terps will take on James Madison at home before facing their second Big Ten opponent of the season.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

After barely taking down Rutgers in a 4-point road win, No. 14 Maryland women’s basketball will be taking on the James Madison Dukes Saturday.

The Terps (4-1) defeated the Scarlet Knights after two straight cancellations, one against Coppin State and the other against Mount St. Mary’s. The team is now on a three-game winning streak as it maintains its national ranking.

“I think that’s kind of the exciting thing is that this team is so competitive, that when we challenge them in an area to be able to fix it they really want to want to master it,” head coach Brenda Frese said.

Maryland is 10-1 all-time against James Madison and is also 2-0 against the Dukes at Xfinity Center. The Terps faced the Dukes in a nail-biter last season, with Maryland coming back from down 19 points to ultimately defeat James Madison, 70-68.

“We know they will be very motivated to come in and play it tomorrow,” Frese said.

With another exciting matchup between these two teams looming, let’s take a look at who Maryland will be facing this Saturday. The game tips off on BTN+ at 11 a.m.

James Madison Dukes (4-2, 0-0 Colonial Athletic Association)

2019 record: 25-4 (16-2 CAA)

Head coach Sean O’Regan is in his fifth season at the helm for James Madison. Last season, before everything was shut down due to COVID-19, O’Regan led the Dukes to their third consecutive CAA regular season title after closing out the year with a 25-4 record.

O’Regan has coached on the James Madison sidelines for 10 seasons, first starting as an assistant coach in 2007-08 and becoming the head coach in 2016. The Dukes have advanced to the postseason all of the 10 years that O’Regan has been on the staff, with five trips to the NCAA Tournament as well.

Players to know

Kiki Jefferson, sophomore guard, 6’1, No. 30 - Jefferson does it all for the Dukes on the offensive side of the ball. She has started all six games for James Madison and has yet to score in the single-digits, shooting over 50% from the field in four of those contests.

The sophomore leads the Dukes in scoring with 14.7 points per game and she’s tied with the most amount of assists on the team through the opening six games. She will certainly be a force to be reckoned with, as Jefferson also has the third-highest field goal percentage and averages the third-most rebounds on the Dukes.

Peyton McDaniel, freshman guard, 6’1, No. 22 - McDaniel has turned it on offensively for James Madison as the season has progressed. After posting just a combined 12 points in the opening three games, the freshman totaled 63 points over the last three contests for the Dukes.

McDaniel scored a season high of 30 points in 28 minutes on the floor against George Mason on Dec. 6. She is tied for second on the team in scoring and averages the most minutes on the floor out of any James Madison player. McDaniel has started every game for the Dukes this season, so she will be out there against the Terps looking to cause damage.

Rayne Tucker, sophomore forward, 6’1, No. 21 - Tucker may not be the tallest forward on the floor in Saturday’s game, but don’t let her height deceive you. She is a strong force on the glass and will be a critical factor on the defensive side of the ball for this James Madison squad as it faces the likes of Maryland.

She averages 7.8 points per game and has started all six games this season. Tucker leads the Dukes in rebounds per game with 7.7 and has 21 offensive rebounds this season. The sophomore also has recorded 10 blocks on the year, which is seven more than any other James Madison player. Tucker will be the defensive leader for the Dukes they look to slow down the potent Maryland offense.


Rebounding margin. The Dukes are strong on the glass and will provide a decent challenge for this Maryland team on the boards. James Madison has a +2.5 rebound margin on the season thus far and will need to use its rebounding abilities to its advantage if it wants to take down the likes of Maryland.


Three-point shooting. James Madison has not dominated its opponents from behind the arc this season. In fact, the Dukes are being outperformed from long-range. Through six games, James Madison has shot just 25.2% from the three-point mark, while it allows its opponents to score 33.6% of the time from deep. Maryland should look to take advantage of James Madison’s weak shooting abilities all game long.

Three things to watch

1. Will Maryland dominate from behind the arc once again? One of the top strengths that the Terps have is their willingness to shoot the three and be effective at the same time. Maryland currently sits sixth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage, which currently is at 46.7%. The team also averages 11.4 threes per game.

“We could do a lot of things and we have the ability to drive when we feel like we need a drive, kick, we have pick-and-rolls, we have pick-and-pop, we are just so versatile and we’re all capable of scoring, so you got to play all five pretty much,” Diamond Miller said.

Players like Katie Benzan, Chloe Bibby and Miller have been Maryland’s most potent weapons from behind the arc. Benzan leads the Terps with 23 made three-pointers while shooting an astonishing 56.1% from deep. If Maryland looks to continue its winning streak, then it’ll have to let it fly from long-range consistently Saturday.

2. How will Mimi Collins play after a phenomenal performance against Rutgers? After star freshman Angel Reese went down with a foot fracture that required surgery, Mimi Collins stepped up against Rutgers. Collins scored a career-high 22 points and shot 8-for-13 from the field in what was a dominant offensive performance.

“We need her to have that kind of presence for us inside,” Frese said. “And she has definitely responded.”

The Terps will reap the rewards on the floor if Collins continues to play with that efficiency, and it’ll be interesting to see if she is able to maintain her success against the Dukes.

3. With a tough schedule ahead, will the Terps be able to keep their momentum going? Maryland has won three straight games and has only one loss, which came to a ranked Missouri State team back in late November. In all four of their victories this season, the Terps have scored at least 90 points.

With the early portion of the season under its belt, Maryland will soon be facing much tougher Big Ten competition. No. 16 Indiana looms in the near future for the Terps in early January. However, Maryland will take a short break from play after the James Madison game as Ohio State postponed its Dec. 23 matchup with the Terps due to COVID-19 cases.

“Our coaching staff will find a way, honestly,” Channise Lewis said of the Terps maintaining their intensity during the 12-day delay before they face Penn State on Dec. 31.

“Whether it’s focusing on the little things that we have to do, they are going to be in our butts to make sure that we are staying consistent and staying focused whenever our next game is going to be and make sure we’re prepared for it.”

With such tough competition approaching after more delays between games, it will be critical for Maryland to take care of business with James Madison to keep its momentum going as it slowly approaches the new year.