File photo by Joel Valley/The Left Bench.

Maryland preps for ACC-Big Ten challenge versus Virginia

Maryland (5-2) is hoping to keep their winning streak alive against the ACC as they take on the Virginia Cavaliers (3-4) in Charlottesville.

 

The Terrapins are coming off of a Thanksgiving tournament win over the Miami  Hurricanes, 79-71, which was a de facto away game for the Terps as it was in Coral Gables.

 

The Terps managed to squeak out a win after three closely contested quarters, thanks to a run in the fourth led by star Kaila Charles. Charles roped in her third double double of the season as she leads the team in scoring this  year.

 

One of the weaknesses the Terps are going to have to work on is their shooting from behind the arc as they shot a season low 15% from three against the Hurricanes on Sunday.

 

However, they will face a sloppy Virginia Defense who gave up almost 40% shooting from 3 against Duquesne in their most recent game, which was the highest they have given up all season.

 

“I [was] really disappointed in our team,” Virginia coach Joanne Boyle said. “We need to correct or lulls [on defense] in order to become a more complete team.”

The Cavaliers are coming off a 2-1 home stretch over  Thanksgiving break, which included their Cavalier tournament, where they ended up placing second .

 

However, the Two wins against non-power conference teams, Hampton and Harvard, both required comebacks by the Cavaliers as both games  ended within 5 points.

 

If Virginia wants any hope of knocking off the Terps, they will have to rely on the three

point shooting from star guard’s Jocelyn Willoughby and Aliyah Huland El, who are both shooting over 50% from beyond the arc this  season. Willoughby is also leading the ACC in steals and could be a factor on the defensive end.

 

Maryland’s main focus is going to be on creating turnovers and bringing a high pressure offense as they like to control the tempo and force opponents into mistakes.hey are forcing 20 turnovers per game.

 

“You know the biggest thing I think we continue to improve every day is that we’re going to play hard as a team. Every day we’re working on making that 40 minute game,” senior guard Kristen Confroy said.

 

The Terps have dominated the Big ten-ACC challenge in the past being 9-1 in the past decade. Getting a win here on the road would be a huge confidence boost for a growing team going into conference play.

 

The game will tip-off in Charlottesville tomorrow at 7:00 P.M.