File photo by Joel Valley/The Left Bench.

Maryland preps for Howard before thanksgiving road trip

Maryland has had a rough non conference schedule to start the season, having to face No. 1 and No. 3 overall teams in the nation within the first Three weeks. Tomorrow they will get a break as they go and face cross town foe Howard.

“I thought we grew as a team,” Coach Brenda Frese said after their loss to Connecticut this past Sunday.

The Terps once again were unable to come out hot on offense as the Huskies doubled their points in the first quarter and held them to 21 in the first half. Maryland has been outscored by 29 this season in the first quarter alone and has put them in a hole to start the game.

However, the Terps have a lot to look forward to with a young team who can grow off these early tough losses. The Terps scored 72 points against the Huskies which was more than they let up all season and forced 25 turnovers which was a season high including Forward Blair Watson’s Seven and Kaila Charles Five. Maryland does not play another top 25 team until the end of January when they face currently ranked #9 Ohio state Buckeyes on the 22nd, which could help them get back into groove going into Big 10 play.

“I thought as a very inexperienced freshman-sophomore backcourt, to force 25 turnovers and score against that defense is very positive for us and gives us a lot to build off of,” Frese said.

The young backcourt is anchored by Senior star Kaila Charles. Charles has been going off this year, scoring 29 against the No. 1 Huskies and 31 against No. 3 Gamecocks. She’s averaging 22.5 points per game, which includes shooting 50% from the field, to go along with 8.3 rebounds per game.

Her attacking mentality has kept the Terps in game and helps the Terps move into their fast paced tempo which has given opponents trouble throughout the season.

“She is the only one who plays for 40 minutes,” Frese said about Charles this past Sunday.

The Terps also have terrific bench play with their smaller nine player roster. Ieshia Small and Brianna Fraser are both averaging 11 points off the bench and provide a good rotation for Frese to use. Frese has also started a four guard lineup this season with the addition of Channise Lewis to the starting lineup and the ability to sub in Foward Fraser if they need help in the post is huge in their games moving forward.

The Bison come into this matchup with no wins under their belt this season. Their bright spot this season has been the play of forward Curstyn Moore who leads the team in points and rebounds averaging 14 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. She hasn’t shot the ball under 50% this season and is the driving force for this Bison offense.

On the Counterpart, the Maryland defense will have to step up to stop her. The Terps have been stout on that end, forcing 85 turnovers which includes 45 steals, which is 52nd highest in the nation and 27 blocks.

The Terps have a lot to look forward and could use this game against the Bison as a bounce back after a harsh week. The play Tomorrow at 6 p.m. in the Xfinity center.