The Maryland Terrapins opened their 2019-2020 season with an exhibition win against Cal U, up next they face Lincoln University on Tuesday night. They responded from a poor first half by scoring 73 points in the second half to take a 109-67 victory.
Monica Burns led Cal U with 29 points, knocking down five triples while shooting 10-of-20 from the floor and 5-of-10 from deep. Halle Harrington was the only other Vulcan to score in double figures, with 10 points.
Five players scored in double figures for Maryland, led by Taylor Mikesell’s 17 point effort. Stephanie Jones added 15 for the Terps.
Unforced errors, freshman mistakes and a bit of sloppy play led to Maryland having just a six point lead at the half against Cal U. The Vulcans did a good job of playing their zone on the defensive end and moving the ball to find solid looks from beyond the arc. Maryland turned it over a staggering 17 times, resulting in 11 points for Cal U.
Maryland held a big size advantage, but when you’re turning it over that much it gives your opponent multiple chances. The Vulcans struggled against the Terrapins set defense in the first half, but the turnovers got them in transition a bit which definitely helped. Shockingly, Maryland attempted just one triple in the first half.
All of those things changed once the second half started, the Terps used a 9-3 run to get going. They started to slow things down and run some offense in the half court, only running when it called for it.
They turned it over just twice in the third period, Mikesell got hot and Austin dominated inside. That recipe, which included a dose of strong defense helped them blow the game open. Their size started to take over and the box out and block outs that Cal U got in the first half were nonexistent as Maryland dominated the glass.
They pushed the lead to as many as 29 that period and never looked back.
Masonius: Versatility is what jumped out the most, gives Maryland another 6’1 forward that can affect the game on three levels. Was very impressed by her communication on the defensive end.
Miller: She gives Maryland a different dimension on the defensive end, she’s 6’3 and spent the game defending on the wing. She also led the team in rebounds with 8. Has to be better when she has the ball, several turnovers came from poor passes made.
Owusu: Could see the poise she plays with that Frese cited on Media Day. Has the ability to break down a defender and get a bucket for herself or others, a dimension the Terps haven’t had from that position since Destiny Slocum.
Defense: Their switching is going to be fun this season, their communication was solid for the first time out. Have to do a better job hitting the defensive glass if they’re going to play that type of defense though. Turnovers: 17 turnovers in the first half for Maryland, a huge reason their opponent was able to stay in the game. Turned it over just four times in the second half and ran away with the game. They obviously want to play fast, but they sped themselves up in the first half trying to get out and run.
Austin: Clearly had a big advantage when the tallest person on Cal U was 5’11, but can see a change in her. She was seeking out contact and looking to spin towards the rim versus away like last season.
Mikesell: It was the first time seeing her play off the ball like this, it took a bit as Frese said after the game but the ball started to find her in the second half. Patience is what her coach used to describe the difference in halves, she is a knock down shooter and taking her off the ball only makes her more dangerous. She can still put it on the floor to attack closeouts, but it’s easier for her to get lost by an opponents defense with all of the other weapons on the floor Maryland has.