The sixth-ranked Maryland women's basketball team is back in action. The Terps opened their season this afternoon with a scrimmage against Goldey-Beacom. Fans young and old were scattered across the Xfinity Center, but if they were looking for drama, they'll need to wait a while. Maryland won in a rout of epic proportions, 127-33.
Seven Terps scored in double figures, led by freshman Kiah Gillespie's 22. The 6'2" power forward also led the team with 10 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals. She spent much of her first college game prowling around on the defensive end, making the Lightning's every move that much more difficult against Brenda Frese's team.
"I was kind of nervous [at first]," Gillespie said. "I was trying to get the jitters out and not shoot an airball. and I did pretty well with that. By the second half, I got more comfortable, and Coach just told me to play basketball."
Kiara Leslie added 18 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Brionna Jones had 14 points in the first half, while Brene Mosely notched 15 in the second half. Maryland went nine deep today, with each player getting at least 17 minutes. The balanced attack is something to watch for once the games count.
"That's always how we love to play, sharing the basketball," Frese said. "I think if you want to be competitive, you need anywhere from three to five players consistently in double figures."
Everyone knew this game would be one-sided, but the numbers are staggering. Maryland outrebounded Goldey-Beacom 59-19. The Terps had a 58-8 advantage in the paint, 28-0 on fast breaks, and 40-0 on points off turnovers. There was hardly a moment when this game looked like a fair fight; at times, one could be convinced that the members of the Lightning had simply dressed up as college basketball players for Halloween. The Terrapins, meanwhile, looked surprisingly cohesive as a unit for this early on. It should be a fun year.
Three things to know
1. Goldey-Beacom has become a regular scrimmage opponent for the Terps, who also won last year's contest by a score of 103-43. The Lightning play in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference, in which they finished middle-of-the-pack last season. Center Marisa Howard, sister of Maryland's Malina, was held scoreless in two minutes of action today.
2. Today was the first game action for both Gillespie and Brianna Fraser, another 5-star freshman recruit. Fraser racked up 14 points, 8 boards and 2 steals. Both newcomers look to make their presence felt immediately.
3. Maryland ran out six players taller than Goldey-Beacom's starting center (5'10 sophomore Britani Bryson), so it was no surprise that they had a field day on the boards. However, expect them to dominate most Division I squads, too. With a solid group of post players, headlined by Gillespie and Jones, the Terps should wreak havoc all year long.