Maryland women’s basketball begin tournament run, with a convicting victory over No. 15 Mount St. Mary’s

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Maryland forward Angel Reese (10) celebrates in front of Mount St. Mary’s guard Jessica Tomasetti (14) during the second half of a college basketball game in the first round of the women’s NCAA tournament at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Monday, March 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

SAN ANTONIO, Tx. (WDVM) – Despite a slow start; the #2 Maryland Terrapins sealed their spot in the second round of the NCAA Women’s basketball tournament, with a 98-45 win over #15 Mount St. Mary’s. This is the largest margin of victory, for either Men’s or Women’s basketball teams, in program history.

The Terrapins started slow; allowing the Mountaineers to score 18 points in the first quarter, as Maryland led by only eight points in the early stages of the second quarter. It started shifting in the second frame of the game, as the Terps outscored, and stifled Mount St. Mary’s; going on a 25-4 run in the second quarter to end the first half.

The Terps held a 53-22 lead heading into halftime; their four points that they allowed in the second quarter stand as the fewest points allowed in an NCAA tournament game in a single quarter. Defensively, the Terps caused nightmares for Mount, scoring 28 points off turnovers. outrebounding the Mountaineers by 18; which helped fuel their run in the second quarter, leading into their next half of play.

“They’ve been that way all year.” said Head Coach Brenda Frese, “You constantly see that, coming into a timeout they are already talking, different plays that have taken place, you see that in the huddle on the court. Obviously in the locker room, at halftime before games, I think they do a phenomenal job, constantly giving each other great confidence. I think, again, this team has such a great IQ, that they are constantly talking in the game.”

In her post game press conference, Head Coach Brenda Frese elaborated how seniors Chloe Bibby, and Katie Benzan were managing the team, speaking to them about their first half, and opening the floor for conversation, to build on their offensive & defensive momentum.

The Terrapins are a young squad; somewhat similar to the 2006 Maryland team, that would become eventual National Champions. Speaking of that championship, Brenda Frese said she gave her players a chance now to get a closer look at the trophy. This happened before their flight to San Antonio; a decision Head Coach Brenda Frese had made to instill confidence in her young squad about their similarities with the 2006 team, and to make them believe similar results were possible.

Their win over Mount St. Mary’s was just the first step; as sophomores Ashley Owusu, and Diamond Miller lead the scoring for the team, with 20 and 19 points respectively.

“I just realized that off the dribble, we were really effective.” said Diamond Miller, when asked about what helped her offensive production in the first quarter, “So I just continued to do that, and we were also really effective in transition, so just getting the rebound and trying to push, and trying to help my team out as best as I could.”

Maryland’s next challenge comes this Wednesday, against #7 Alabama in the second round.

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