By: Brandon Schwartzberg
Midway through the second quarter, pushing the ball in transition, Ashley Owusu dished a pass to Katie Benzan for an open shot beyond the arc. Benzan swished the three, netting her 100th three as a Terp.
Benzan and the rest of the Terps started off firing, and continued as the game went along. Maryland dominated on both sides of the court, and after a strong first half, cruised easily in the second half en route to a 98-57 blowout win against Mount St. Mary’s.
From the very beginning of the game, Maryland women’s basketball was far and away the better team, playing on another level than Mount St. Mary’s.
Maryland started the game on a 16-0 run, as the Mountaineers didn’t score their first points until a three point basket from Aryna Taylor with just over two minutes left in the first quarter.
The Terps were ferocious on defense in the first quarter, forcing five turnovers and limiting the Mountaineers to 18% shooting (3-17) from the floor.
On offense, Maryland was just as dominant. The Terps shot 67% (10-15) from the floor, and were headlined by Chloe Bibby’s eight first quarter points.
At the end of one quarter of play, Maryland led 23-7.
“One thing we’ve been talking about is getting out to a hot start. I love that first quarter, holding them to seven points,” Head Coach Brenda Frese said.
Mount St. Mary’s offense rebounded in the second quarter, at one point connecting on five straight field goals. The Mountaineers more than doubled their first quarter point total, spearheaded by their improved efficiency, shooting 58% (7-12) from the field in the quarter.
However, the Terps offense also found another gear. Maryland found the range from behind the three point line, knocking down three triples in the quarter.
Ashley Owusu led the Terps in scoring in the second, cashing in both from the field and at the free throw line en route to 10 points in the quarter.
Maryland’s size played a big role in the first half domination, as the Terps out-rebounded the Mountaineers 22-14, and after twenty minutes of action, Maryland led Mount St. Mary’s 53-25.
“My teammates kept feeding me and they [Mount St. Mary’s] were smaller than us,” Angel Reese said. “Taking advantage of the inside-out was a big thing.”
Coming out of the locker room, Maryland looked to extend their large lead.
The Terps came out firing from behind the arc early in the third, as Maryland connected on all three of their three point attempts within the first five minutes of the quarter.
Mount St. Mary’s held their own offensively in the third quarter, helped in large part by their five three pointers in the quarter. The Mountaineers also limited the turnovers in the quarter, moving the ball around better as they looked for the best shot possible each possession.
Maryland’s offense slowed down in the third, as the team only shot 36% (8-22) from the field in the quarter. Having said that, the Terps still outscored the Mountaineers 21-19 in the quarter, entering the fourth with a 30 point lead.
Working with a lead as large as it was, Maryland head coach Brenda Frese elected to spread out her minutes across her players, not taxing anyone too much early in the season.
Angel Reese and Mimi Collins both led the Terps in scoring with 18 points each, two of six players in double-figures.
Angel Reese notched her third double-double of the season, as she has quickly become a key factor on this Maryland roster.
Katie Benzan had it going from downtown, cashing in on four of her six seven point attempts. Benzan needed this bounceback game, as in the team’s last outing against James Madison Benzan only shot 14% (1-7) from behind the arc.
“Obviously last game I didn’t shoot as well as I’d hoped, but this game was a little bit different and that’s just a testament to my teammates finding me when I’m open,” Benzan said.
The win over Mount St. Mary’s improved Maryland to 4-0 on the young season, with a home matchup against UNC Wilmington Thursday night up next.
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