Maryland has had an issue with slow starts, that wasn’t an issue against the Northwestern Wildcats. The Terrapins used their stifling defense to race out to a 22-8 lead. The Wildcats played better in the second half, but the Terps were able to hold on for a 72-57 victory.
Maryland got a balanced effort on the offensive end as their trio of Juniors led the way. Stephanie Jones had 16 points and nine rebounds, Kaila Charles with 12 points and six rebounds. Blair Watson did a bit of everything, impacting the game in multiple ways en route to the home win.
Northwestern was led by Lindsey Pulliam and Abi Scheid scoring 18 and 16 points respectively. The Wildcats got a solid performance on the glass from center Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah with 13 rebounds and a couple of blocks. Unfortunately for them they didn’t get much help or space as Maryland keyed in on Pulliam to take her out of the equation early. Maryland made life tough for both Pulliam (she shot just 8-for-22) and Kunaiyi (0-for-9), they still fought to get shots but it was definitely tough sledding. The Wildcats started the game shooting just 12%, things improved as the game went on, but that type of hole was just too much to get out of.
The Wildcats got going a bit in the third quarter, but trading baskets when in that situation doesn’t do much.
The Terps didn’t do the greatest of jobs finishing the with the same defensive intensity they started the game with. Still, they were able to hold on without any issues. Credit to the Wildcats who continued to play with a sense of urgency from the opening tip to the final buzzer sounded.
Up next for Maryland is a rematch with Rutgers, this time on the road.
Defense. Maryland used their size and athleticism to overwhelm the Northwestern guards, the ball pressure didn’t result in turnovers, but most shots were heavily contested. From there the Terps were able to get out and run, the battle on the glass was close early, but Maryland dominated in that regard as well.
Watson. This was the healthiest she’s looked since pre-injury, her instincts seemed to be guiding her versus seeing her thinking. She finished with __ points, but it was about her overall game. She was even bringing the ball up in the fourth quarter when the Wildcats were pressing to take the pressure off of Mikesell. It was a welcome sight and something that changes Maryland a bit if she’s back to her old self.
Balance. Northwestern had a lot to deal with on the defensive end as it was an equal opportunity scoring night for Maryland. They were able to get to their respective spots and the ball found them so they could capitalize. Stephanie Jones was solid in the paint, while Kaila Charles routinely got into the paint to cause havoc. The Terps were also efficient beyond the arc, shooting 8-of-16, with four different players having hit three pointers.