The Maryland Terrapins have rebounded from their only loss this season fairly well. Since falling to Uconn, the Terps are 3-0. All of those games have been in Conference play, they beat Northwestern 96-65 at home yesterday. Coach Brenda Frese talked about Maryland changing their “wiring” during the Big Ten halftime show. The Terps are focused on themselves and getting better with each game they play.
Since joining the Big Ten Conference, Maryland has been nothing short of dominant. That continued in their rout of Northwestern yesterday, the Terps didn’t play a complete game and garnered that result. Brionna Jones was in foul trouble again, but she caused a ton of damage to the Wildcats in the process. She recorded another double-double (15 points, 13 rebounds) and had more than enough help as 11 of the 12 Terps that played in the game scored a basket.
The Terps owned the glass on both ends and they did a great job of guarding the three point line as the Wildcats shot just 1-of-11 from distance. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough chose her spots as she led the team in scoring and Ieshia Small had a great game off the bench. Destiny Slocum had six turnovers, but she made up for it in other ways including nearly dropping a defender when attacking her off the bounce. Fellow Freshman Kaila Charles had a relatively quiet night, but like Slocum made an impact. Sophomore Kiah Gillespie added a very productive 13 minutes despite struggling with her shot. Kristen Confroy found her shot again, knocking down four triples.
They did a tremendous job against Northwestern’s Ashley Deary, holding her to just two points and forcing her into six turnovers. Nia Coffey and Christen Inman led the Wildcats with 22 and 17 points respectively.
Bri Jones. Another game, another win, another dominant performance from the Senior center. In just 23 minutes of play, she totaled 15 points and 13 rebounds on 7-of-8 shooting. The Wildcats were sending doubles and at times triple teams her way and it didn’t bother her one bit. She did a great job of not allowing the secondary defender alter her rhythm and made them pay a few times with good passes out to wide open shooters.
Lulls. Maryland really took off in the second quarter and looked good at the beginning of the third as well. While it didn’t have them in any danger in this contest, it’s definitely an area that they surely wish to address. With the type of depth Maryland has it shouldn’t be an issue at all, those lulls can cost them a game later down the line. A perfect example is the Uconn game. Coach Frese identified that as well, stating that her team played a good 20 minutes of basketball in the post game press conference.
Outside Shooting. Maryland got off to a good start in that department to start the game, at the half they were 6-of-13 from that distance, heading into the fourth they were just 8-of-21. They would finish 10-of-24.. The Terps have a great advantage in having Brionna Jones in the post, teams have to sag off shooters eventually, it’s just about knocking the shots down. A few Terps hit more than one three pointer, Kristen Confroy hit four, Shatori hit three and Desinty added two.
Shatori. Maryland’s Senior wing led the team in scoring with 18 points, that’s not surprising at all. What stood out, at least to me was that she’s starting to make plays for others off the dribble. Known as a knock down shooter and slasher when she’s not doing that, SWK did a great job of finding teammates after defenders ran her off the three point line. If her handle continues to improve (it should as she’s a very hard worker), it puts added stress on opposing defenses. Now it’s not simply force her off her spot, she got to the line six times and it wasn’t all in transition.
Super Sub. Ieshia Small really gives the Terps a weapon coming off the bench. She plays several different positions (1-3, point guard-small forward) which gives the Terps advantages at times. At 6’0, she’s able to see over the top of defenses as a guard to find her teammates. She’s also a tough matchup at shooting guard as well, her size and athleticism puts stress on opposing defenses. Even as the 3 at times, she’s able to defend and play off-ball. Small had 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting yesterday, she almost outscored the Northwestern bench (17 points). Ieshia has proved to have been worth the wait, the Junior is a luxury for the Terps.