COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WDVM) – Despite committing 16 turnovers, the Maryland Terrapins survive a tough Miami Hurricanes team, winning 84-72 to get back in the win column.
“We knew what to expect.” said Head Coach Brenda Frese, “Obviously in the path with these battles against Miami, knew they were going to come in here really well coached. They gave us fits for the first three quarters. and I think you can see we’re still kind of working through.”
The Terps were tied at 36 at halftime, struggling with turnovers in the first half, whether Miami created them or they were self inflicted. Coming out of the break, Maryland forced the Hurricanes into foul trouble, capitalizing with a strong performance at the line, going to the charity stripe 27 times in the second half alone.
“We had to have a come to Jesus meeting at halftime, and raise that level of intensity.” said Frese, “Like I said, I loved the response. Shouldn’t take your Head Coach to fire you up, I’m willing to do it if that is what is needed, but it was a terrific response by the players. I thought we were getting outworked, and outhustled in the first half. Still disappointed, [Kelsey] Marshall is a great player, but we lost her significantly throughout this game.”
“If we want to be an elite level team, we’ve got to be able to guard, we’ve got to be able to value to basketball. We had too many unforced turnovers.” Frese continued, “But we’ll get some practice time. Now we get Katie, and Faith back. We get the team to be able to get into a rhythm together, they had two practices with them, so we’ve got to be able to get continuity back with everyone healthy together.”
Sophomore forward Angel Reese led the way with 26 points, and 15 rebounds; new career highs for her in both categories. Junior guard Ashley Owusu added 22 points.
“I was hungry.” said Angel Reese, “Doing whatever I can. I was a part of our loss last game, so I feel like I didn’t play my best game. I didn’t give everything I could, because I was in foul trouble, and I feel like I was undisciplined within the team. Being disciplined tonight, I mean I only have three fouls, which is good for me.”
“I’m the floor general, so I set the tone for my team.” said Ashley Owusu, “It was tough, I think number 12 [Ja’Leah Williams] she guarded me basically the whole game, picked me up full court. Just making sure in keeping my head up, and being focused and not let her get the steal.”
The Terps brought back grad student guard Katie Benzan, and junior forward Faith Masonius. Katie, known for being a perimeter threat, only had one shot go in from beyond the arc, but it came at the right time, helping Maryland pull away with the lead late in the fourth quarter.
“I thought there were some huge plays, where she was always on the floor, diving for loose balls because she is that competitive.” said Frese on Benzan’s performance tonight. “That three was huge, it gave us kind of a little bit of breathing room to be able to separate. It was a big play.”
Faith gave Maryland crucial minutes coming off the bench, adding eight points, six rebounds, and three steals.
“She’s only played three games for us, and to play 31 minutes tonight, her heart and her hustle I thought on the top of the press made a lot of plays.” Frese said about Faith. “Being really aggressive, and those steals were huge. I felt like they were timely steals, when we needed to be able to have. She kind of gives us a calming presence.”
Maryland will have a chunk of the weekend to prepare, before traveling to New Jersey to take on Rutgers for the start of conference play on Sunday.