Albany head coach Joanna Bernabei-Mcnamee worked on Frese’s staff in 2006-2007, the NCAA Championship team. So it was a homecoming of sorts for her yesterday as her team came to College Park to take on the Terrapins. Maryland received their Big Ten Conference Championship rings from last season prior to the game, then their new chapter began, officially closing the door on the last. After a sloppy start, the Terrapins got to doing what they do best and beat the Great Danes 91-58.
Stephanie Jones and Brianna Fraser opened their seasons with double-doubles. Frasier finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds while Jones had 11 points and 18 boards. Four other Terrapins finished with double-digit points: Blair Watson (16), Kristen Confroy (14), Kaila Charles (13) and Channise Lewis (10).
As expected in the first regular season game of the year, the Maryland Terrapins looked a little sluggish and sloppy early on against the visiting Albany Great Danes. Allowing the visitors to get out to an early lead by taking advantage of the Maryland turnovers, but the Great Danes struggled to hold onto the ball as well and things were tied at 14 a piece after one period.
Everything changed in the second quarter when the 2017-2018 Terrapins showed those in attendance how they’ll win games this season. It started on the defensive end as the Maryland’s versatile lineup gave Albany fits. The Terps ability to nearly switch everything really messed up th eflow of the Albany offense and led to multiple deflections and turnovers in a monstrous run that would decide the outcome of the game.
Albany would go a full 7 minutes without scoring a point, be it a field goal or free throw. Maryland went on a 25-0 run before the Great Danes could muster a response. The Terps would outscore Albany 30-4 in the second quarter, the visitors were held to a paltry 13% from the floor during that span of play. Maryland also imposed their will on the glass, grabbing 35 of them in the first half and 19 of which were of the offensive variety.
During that run, Maryland got contributions from every single player that touched the floor. Stephanie Jones had 11 of her game-high 18 rebounds in the first half. She was the anchor for their defense, owning the glass and making proper rotations on the back end when needed. Watson used her size to help on the glass and found space on the floor to knock down open shots and make plays for others. Freshman point guard Chanise Lewis looked comfortable out on the floor, knowing when to beat her man and when to get others involved. Her ability to break down defenders definitely opened things up for her teammates. Kaila Charles was everywhere as well, switching onto point guards, defending post players and even protecting the rim when needed.
The Terps had back-to-back strong quarters before reverting back to the way they started the game in the fourth. Obviously that lapse of effort shouldn’t be a concern against South Carolina on Monday as it’s not going to be hard to get up for a big matchup like that. However, Maryland has to take care of the ball better because 21 turnovers against South Carolina may result in an outcome they don’t want.