Iesha Small preps for free throw routine against Niagara. Photo credit Owen Hynes

Terrapins overpowered in first road game against #1 Connecticut

The Connecticut Huskies women’s basketball team have only lost twice in the last four years, with only one of those losses coming in the regular season. The Terrapins could not change that statistic in their matchup with the Huskies earlier today, as they fell in a lopsided contest, 97-72.

 

“We have to come out and compete for 40 minutes.” head coach Brenda Frese said earlier this week on preparation for this game.

 

The Terps had struggled in their previous games by starting off slow, putting themselves in a hole  through the first quarter. This game had the same narrative as the Huskies came out firing, holding the Terps to only 11 points in the first.

 

The Huskies shot 60 percent  in the quarter, which included going 4-7 from three-point range, thanks in large part to guard Kia Nurse. Nurse ended with five  three-pointers on the day and led the team in scoring with 21.

 

Connecticut’s offense ran into some trouble in the second quarter.Maryland  held them to just 6-22 shooting, and stifled the momentum they were gaining from the first quarter.

 

However, Maryland could not capitalize on the poor shooting from the Huskies part, as they managed to score even less than they did in the first quarter racking up just 10 points. The Huskies had a commanding 25 point lead at halftime.

The Huskies defense was giving Maryland trouble all day, forcing 20 turnovers which including 10 steals,  five of which were by star forward Gabby Williams.

 

Williams racked up 15 points and 11 rebounds in the game. Along with her  double-double, Azura Stevens (18 points, 12 rebounds) and Napheesa Collier (13 points, 11 rebounds)  also finished with double doubles on the day.

The dominating play by those Connecticut forwards were  a huge factor in the outcome of the game, as Maryland got outrebounded 57-35 throughout the game, including 20 offensive rebounds that led to 26 second-chance points for the Huskies.

 

One of the bright spots for Maryland was the continued excellent play from guard Kaila Charles. She led the team in scoring with 29 points, a feat which she has accomplished twice on the season already.

 

“We need everybody to be a part of the team win.” Charles said.

 

Charles seemed like the only form of Maryland offense, with a third of the Terps field goals coming from the senior.

 

But the poor shooting performance by the rest of  team brought the overall play down. Neither Kristen Confroy and Sarah Myers make a basket , and fellow guard Blair Watson missed all the three-point attempts she took. As a team, the Terps shot just 26 percent from three-point range.

Connecticut continued to dominate in the second half, as their lead reached 37 points in the third quarter.

 

“I think as a young team we need to come in more prepared to play.” Frese said.

 

The Terps fall to 2-2 with the loss.  Both losses came  against top-five teams, and Frese hopes to use these games a learning experience going forward in the season.

 

“The team you see here in early November will be a different team than you see in late February, early March.” Frese said.

 

The Terps are back in action  against Howard on Tuesday before heading to Miami for their Thanksgiving tournament.