Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics.

Blair Watson leads No. 9 Terps over Dayton

After defeating Coppin State on Friday, No. 9 Maryland Women’s Basketball beat Dayton, 82-71. Junior guard Blair Watson came in off the bench and provided the Terps a spark throughout.

The first half was filled with runs that allowed the Terps to build their 16-point halftime lead.

After the Flyers started out on a 6-0 run, head coach Brenda Frese brought in Watson off the bench. Watson brought a spark, knocking down two consecutive threes, followed by a strip and layup to put the Terps up 15-8 in 32 seconds.

After taking the lead, the Terps did not look back as they extended their lead to 17 by the end of the first quarter.

“Blair’s lift off the bench was phenomenal,” Frese said. “The energy we were able to get off the bench I thought was the biggest difference in the game.”

Over the last 7:02 of the first quarter, the Terps outscored the Flyers 25-3. The Terps shot 69 percent from the field from the first quarter, while holding the Flyers to 27 percent shooting. Building off of their last win, the Terps intense press forced the Flyers into seven first quarter turnovers, which the Terps converted into 12 points.

“It was a surprise that it took us a little while to get going in that area. That’s an area we want to jump on immediately from the tip,” Frese said.

The second quarter was a different story as the Flyers started to show signs of life. Using an 11-0 run, Dayton  cut the Maryland deficit to 12. Dayton relied on three pointers to get themselves back in the game. The first half was filled with runs that allowed the Terps to build their 16-point halftime lead.

Despite being down 16 at the half, the Flyers started to gain momentum, which carried into the start of the second half. After two consecutive Terp baskets, the Flyers put together an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to single digits, the first time the game had been that close since the first quarter. Three point shooting kept the Flyers in it, shooting 43 percent from deep. From inside the arc, the Flyers made 13 of 36 field goal attempts.

After a coach Frese timeout, the Terps came back out once again with strong defensive intensity, with Watson and freshman guard Taylor Mikesell being the catalysts. Watson and Miksells’ defensive pressure in the backcourt resulted in numerous easy transition baskets, to increase the lead to 19.

Junior guard Kaila Charles provided a constant offensive presence for the Terps throughout, leading all scorers with 22 points.

“My teammates finding me, I was working hard in transition and they were getting me the ball, it was kind of easy to make layups when you’re wide open,” Charles said.

In addition to Charles, three other Terps – Watson, Mikesell and junior forward Stephanie Jones – finished in double figures.

The Terps will now travel to Washington D.C on Wednesday for their first road test of the season against George Washington at 7:00 p.m.