Maryland women's basketball had a rough first 10 minutes against the Michigan Wolverines. The final 20 minutes of the game was nothing like the first 20. The Play4Kay game was a strange game to watch, but the Terps got the win in convincing fashion, 76-56 on Wednesday night.
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, one of the country's best players, only had two points at the half. Michigan's head coach, Kim Barnes Arico, said that her team came out scrapping and clawing in the first half. The press that had worked so well in the first half was no longer effective in the second half.
Three things to know
1. In the second half, the Terps did what they do best If there was an actual recipe for Maryland's success, it would call for Brionna Jones. A plentiful supply of Brionna Jones. The junior center was recently named to the Wooden Top 20 List, and put up 20 points and eight boards in just 27 minutes of action.
The Terps turned the ball over just four times in the second half after coughing it up 11 times in the first 20 minutes. The Terrapins shared the ball, got out and ran in transition, pounded the ball down low, and wore out the Wolverines. On a night where Shatori Walker-Kimbrough was not her usual self, Maryland needed to lean on its bench and its bigs. As usual, they delivered.
2. The game was a tale of two halves. Maryland turned the ball over eight times in the first quarter and was shooting 29 percent from the field as a team. They trailed at the half by one point, but only turned the ball over three times in the quarter and bumped their field goal percentage up to 44.8 percent.
The Terps took over in the third quarter. They won every phase of the game and outscored the Wolverines 22-12. Then they really turned it on in the fourth quarter, where they outscored the Maize and Blue 25-14.
Michigan just couldn't find a way to respond in the second half. The third quarter was really the difference in the game, but the fourth quarter was the one that proved how good this Maryland team really is. The Terrapins did not allow Michigan to get back into the game. They kept their foot on the gas. That is the mark of a championship-caliber team.
3. Michigan might have shown the blueprint on how to beat Maryland.
I won't go as far to say as that Michigan had Maryland on the ropes, but the Wolverines were up nine in the second quarter and Maryland wasn't playing well at all. If Maryland hadn't gone back to Jones over and over, there's a real chance the Terps would have fallen short.