If you believe a competitive basketball game consists of two teams, two hoops, two clocks and three referees, then Saturday afternoon's game between the No. 5 Maryland women's basketball team and Central Connecticut State met your criteria.
If you prefer your games to feel like a competition, however, the first half of Maryland's 86-43 victory was not for you. The Terps led all game, and the Blue Devils struggled to put points on the board, save for a run in the third quarter.
When sophomore center Emma Stroyan made a layup to put CCSU on the board with 7:53 remaining in the first quarter, the score was 6-2 in favor of Maryland. When freshman guard Kiana Patterson stood at the foul line with 6:38 in the second quarter, the Terps had opened up a 31-2 lead. The Blue Devils were 5-for-27 from the field in the first half, and it took a buzzer-beating heave by Patterson to bring the score to 41-14 at halftime.
In a strange turn of events, CCSU scored 22 third-quarter points. At one point, the Blue Devils made five straight field goals. They ended the quarter still down 27 points, which was a lot fewer than anyone really expected. Maryland took a 63-36 advantage into the fourth, and returned to form in the last 10 minutes to close out a 43-point victory.
Brenda Frese played all 12 players on her roster, and most of the second half minutes went to the reserves. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough led the team in scoring yet again, with 10 points in the first quarter and 18 in the game. Her stat sheet also included 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists and 2 blocks. Brionna Jones notched 14 points on 7-10 shooting. Kiara Leslie, Tierney Pfirman and Brene Moseley also reached double figures, and Moseley dished out a game-high 9 assists.
Three things to know
1. Malina Howard and Tierney Pfirman started their first games of the season today. Kiah Gillespie and Kiara Leslie began the contest on the bench. Howard started all 37 games last season. After scoring 13 points against Syracuse on Wednesday, "the Pfirmanator" picked up her first start since Jan. 17, 2013.
2. The three-pointer wasn't much of a factor for Maryland. The Terps started 0-of-5 from downtown before Brene Moseley sunk fallaway with 1:37 in the third quarter. The team finished the contest 3-of-10 from deep, as Kristen Confroy nailed two in the fourth.
3. Turnovers are still a problem. After giving the ball away 22 times on Wednesday, the team had 17 turnovers today. It's an improvement, but ball control will still be something to watch for in Tuesday's home game against Loyola (Md).