Defense. The Maryland Terrapins used a swarming defense to set the tone early against George Washington and build a double-digit lead. Blair Watson was the tip of the spear, scoring 14 of her 19 points in the first half and 8 of her team’s first 10 points during a personal 8-0 run. The Colonials didn’t want to run with Maryland and tried to avoid running outside of their own terms. That’s why the turnover margin was so important heading into this game. George Washington needed to limit the turnovers to keep Maryland from running which in turn would allow them to dictate the tempo. Maryland wanted to force turnovers so they could do what they do best, run.
The Terps forced 14 turnovers in the first half and GW forced 12, Maryland scoring 8 points off of turnovers and GW scored 6. With the turnover difference being just two at the break, it was Maryland’s swarming defense that made the biggest impact. Their versatile wings allowed them to switch nearly everything on the defense and it truly bothered the Colonials. Stephanie Jones, Kaila Charles, Watson, and Ieshia Small are all six foot plus and can guard nearly 1-5 (point guards to centers), definitely 1-4 comfortably.
The Colonials didn’t quit fighting, in the second half they found a bit of success on the offensive end. Their head coach, Jenifer Rizzotti was proud of her team’s “fight” and said just that after the game. Her team was dominated in the paint, by the tune of 44-16 and the absence of 6’5 post Keli Prange was definitely felt. Maryland’s athleticism was truly the difference on both ends of the floor. Brianna Cummings led the way with 14 points and Kendall Bresee chipped in with 11 points for GW.
Maryland had five players in double-figures, they also dominated the glass 45 to 28. Everything wasn’t all rosy for the Terps though, they had 20 turnovers to 14 assists, an issue they’ve had at times this season. An issue they definitely need to correct going forward. Despite the lopsided result, George Washington definitely can take a few positives from this game as well.