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Three takeaways from No. 14 Maryland women’s basketball’s win over James Madison

The Terps used a strong second quarter to fight their way past the Dukes at home.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

No. 14 Maryland women’s basketball was able to capture its fourth consecutive victory, defeating James Madison in a blowout, 101-59, Saturday in College Park.

The Terps had a somewhat inefficient start to the game, but they were able to find their footing after dominating in the second and third quarters to clinch the program’s fifth victory of the season.

Maryland is now 5-1 on the season with an undefeated record at home. The Terps’ next matchup that was slated to be against Ohio State was postponed, so their next game will come against Penn State on the final day of December.

Here are my three biggest takeaways from Maryland’s win against James Madison.

The Terps made up for a slow start with an explosive second quarter

Maryland started the contest with a very shaky start against James Madison, down 19-16 at the end of the opening frame.

Maryland shot just 31.8% from the field and 1-for-5 from three-point range in the first quarter. However, a strong second quarter set the tone for the rest of the way.

Led by their defense, the Terps went on to outscore the Dukes 29-8 in the second quarter to take a dominant 45-27 lead into halftime.

“I thought the defensive energy was really, really good,” head coach Brenda Frese said.

Forward Chloe Bibby came alive in the second frame, scoring 10 points to solidify the lead for the Terps. Bibby went 3-for-5 in the quarter and added one triple as well. Katie Benzan and Mimi Collins also combined for 11 points in the period.

As a team, Maryland shot 52.4% in the quarter, also adding five makes from the charity stripe to build up the lead, which it never relinquished to the Dukes the rest of the way.

Zoe Young finally got on the board for the Terps

Scoring two points on 1-for-3 shooting may not seem like a major accomplishment, but for Maryland guard Zoe Young it’s a major step in the right direction.

The redshirt freshman, who sat out all of last season due to injury, was finally able to make her Maryland debut against James Madison.

“Just some really, really great moments that the team was able to share with Zoe getting some of her first minutes,” Frese said. “It was awesome to be able to have her in the game.”

It’s easy to forget about a player like Young when the rest of the roster is filled with talent. But the 5’10 guard out of Des Moines, Iowa, was ranked as the No. 9 guard by ESPN before coming to Maryland.

She averaged 24.3 points per game in high school in her senior season for West Des Moines Valley, which she helped win state titles in 2017 and 2019. During her recruitment, she was named the No. 30 overall player by ESPN.

“It’s amazing because she’s been working so hard behind the scenes with rehab,” Collins said. “Just seeing her and seeing a smile on her face is just, it’s everything and we just been hyping her up.”

If Young is able to remain at full health and put in some valuable minutes on the floor for Frese and the Terps, this Maryland roster transforms into an even more dangerous roster to handle.

Maryland flexed its scoring depth once again

The Terps was second in the nation in points per game entering Saturday’s contest, in which they scored above the century mark for the third time this season, with the other two 100+ point games coming against the likes of Arkansas and Towson earlier this season.

And once again, Maryland used a plethora of weapons on offense to get the job done. Six different Terps were in double-figures, with the group led by sophomore Ashley Owusu, who scored 19 points on 9-for-15 shooting, along with eight rebounds and seven assists, in 29 minutes of play.

Diamond Miller also had another very efficient game for Maryland. The sophomore scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Terps in just 23 minutes on the floor, shooting 7-for-12 from the field as well.

Mimi Collins, Faith Masonius and Bibby all collected double-doubles against James Madison in what was another brilliant showing on offense from the Terps all around. And with the loss of freshman star Angel Reese earlier this season, depth scoring has become even more important for the Terps.

“On the court, I would say, we had some big shoes to fill,” Masonius said. “And just not doing it by ourselves, but Mimi and I and even Chloe and Diamond, really filling those roles and just getting that extra rebound, getting that extra point and just really focusing in on it.”

Every single Terp that was on the game day roster scored a point Saturday afternoon. This kind of scoring is what was expected of Frese and the talented roster that Maryland has.

Looking ahead, Maryland will face Penn State on the road on Dec. 31 and then No. 16 Indiana at home in early January. With a tougher schedule ahead, it’ll be very interesting to keep an eye on if Maryland is able to score as effectively as it is now.