Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Maryland women’s basketball leads start to finish, drops Delaware in First Round, 102-71

Maryland looked to extend its lead with possession of the ball midway through the third quarter.

Angel Reese caught the ball at the top of the arc with no Blue Hens defenders near her. After missing from deep in a similar situation in the first half, Reese drove to the hoop and passed the rock.

The ball found the hands of Diamond Miller, who converted on the easy layup as the Terps found the open shot to grow their lead to 18, setting them up to coast the rest of the way.

No. 4-seed Maryland women’s basketball opened up its NCAA Tournament against No. 13-seed Delaware at the Xfinity Center.  The Terps scored the first basket of the game and held their lead throughout all 40 minutes, coasting to a comfortable 102-71 victory over the Blue Hens.

The Terps had the privilege of hosting their First Round matchup, securing one of the top four seeds in the Spokane region. As a result, the stands were filled with Maryland red.

Maryland’s offense got out to a hot start — the Terps made four of their first five shots en route to a seven point lead — less than three minutes into the game.

With just under four minutes left in the first quarter, Maryland led 19-11.

Reese played a big role on the offensive end of the floor in the first quarter. Reese used her physicality and aggressiveness to take advantage of the size that Delaware lacked on the court. Reese finished the first with as many points as the Blue Hens through one, garnering 11 points in just eight first-quarter minutes.

Delaware struggled from deep to start. The Blue Hens shot 11% on nine attempts from behind the arc. Jasmine Dickey, the CAA Player of the Year, shot only 2-8 in the quarter as the Terps defense smothered her every time she touched the ball.

Entering the second quarter, Maryland led by ten, 27-17.

Katie Benzan found her stroke from deep in the second for the Terps. After missing both her attempts from behind the arc in the first quarter, Benzan responded with a perfect 4-4 quarter from downtown, including a make near the logo at midcourt.

Dickey finally figured it out in the second however. Dickey shot five-of-nine in the quarter, en route to 14 of her 18 first half points. Dickey and Benzan both accounted for over 50% of their respective teams points in the second. At halftime, Maryland maintained a 10-point lead, 49-39.

Benzan and Chloe Bibby each opened the third with connections from deep — prompting a timeout from Delaware only two minutes into the half.

Unfortunately for the Blue Hens, The Terps continued their hot start out of the timeout. They went on a 6-0 run midway through the third to grow their lead to 17, their largest of the game.

Delaware made just three of its first twelve shots from the field in the third, all from Dickey.

Maryland took complete control of the game in the third quarter. The Terps outscored the Blue Hens 31-17 in the quarter. The Terps shot 69% from the field and 80% from deep in the third. Five different Terps recorded at least five points in the quarter as the ball movement and unselfishness from Maryland’s offense put the game out of hand. 

Maryland led 80-56 after three.

The fourth quarter went back-and-forth as the Terps eased their foot off the gas a bit. Despite that, Maryland crossed the 100 point mark for the third time this season.

Five Terps scored in double figures, led by Owusu’s 24.

Dickey was the mainstay of the Blue Hens’ offense as she led them in scoring with 31.

Maryland will take on Florida Gulf Coast in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, again at the Xfinity Center.

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