The Maryland Terrapins got off to another slow start, their mantra of Defend-Rebound-Run was not being reached for most of the first half. With about four minutes left in the half, the Terps “turned up” as the kids say. Maryland would go on a hellacious 26-6 run, highlighted by this sequence (below) of exemplary ball movement.
— Max Marcilla (@MMarcilla98) January 29, 2017
The Terps would cap the run with a very deep Destiny Slocum triple. The team’s reaction was one as if she hit a game winner, Maryland never looked back from that point. Still there’s a lot for this young team to learn from going forward regardless of the final score. That run was the pivotal moment in this game, Iowa didnt’ seem the same afterwards.
Iowa go what they wanted for much of the first half, trading baskets with the Terps on their way to a 30-30 tie. That’s when everything went left for the visting Hawkeyes. Prior to that point though, Ally Disterhoft and Kathleen Doyle got it going, with 7 and 17 points respectively. As a team the Hawkeyes were shooting 52.2% from the floor and 62.2% in the second quarter before Maryland went on that run.
If the Terrapins wish to achieve their goal of securing a National Championship this season, they have to learn from these moments. Owners of a 20 point lead to start the third quarter, they gave Iowa a bit of life by surrendering a 4-1 run to start the half. Championship teams slam their foot down on their opponents throat, which starts ont he defensive end. The Terps didn’t surrender their lead, it got down to 11 at one point, but it’s still an area that needs to be addressed going forward.
Maryland had five players in double-figures as they went on to beat Iowa 100-81.
Consistency. Maryland has to work on this going forward, yet another game in which they started off a bit lethargic on both ends of the floor. They have to become the team that plays up to it’s highest level from opening tip to the final buzzer. They’re still a young team and it takes time, but they have to mature in that respect.
Killer Instinct. This follows along closely with my first point from this game, a championship caliber team takes a 15-20 point lead and makes it 30 quick. They keep their foot on the pedal or slam their foot down on the opponent’s throat. You can’t give a team life once their down, a knockout blow has to be delivered. That’s the next step for this team, they have the ability and firepower to go on a big run at any time.
Fraser. The sophomore is really becoming a key piece off Maryland’s bench, she is becoming a consistent threat for the Terps. In this one, she scored 17 off the bench. Hitting five-of-six shots from the field and knocking down seven-of-eight from the charity stripe. With Brionna Jones being in foul trouble on some nights, her ability to fill that gap in scoring is huge. Fraser just continues to impress, giving Maryland yet another weapon to utilize.
Slocum. The young floor general continues to get better, she picked her spots to score and did a great job of running the offense and finding her teammates. She had several no-look passes included in her 11 assists for the game. As Slocum finds that balance between running the team and getting hers, Maryland will continue to get better.
The Jones Effect. Due to Brionna’s ability to dominate the low block on the offensive end, Maryland sometimes gets into situations in which they force feed the ball to her. In this game, it led to turnovers nearly every time they did so. The Terps have to learn to take advantage of the attention she draws and take the shots the defense are essentially giving you. Once things start to fall outside, it loosens up the defense and ties their hands. Either the ease up on the pressure on Bri or continue to give up quality shots to a good shooting team. Jones will always make the most of her looks, she finished with 28 points on 12-of-13 shots against Iowa.