By Bryan Jones
The No. 15 Maryland women’s basketball team bounced back with a convincing 111-49 win over Howard after a blowout loss to No.1 Connecticut on Sunday.
Maryland improved to 3-2 and reclaimed a winning record after it had the worst start since head coach Brenda Frese arrived in College Park.
After a difficult stretch of games, including a match against UConn and the defending national champion South Carolina Gamecocks, the Terps were able to avoid another slow start. Maryland gained a convincing lead in the first quarter with a 7-0 run to begin the ball game. The run was a change of pace from the disappointing first quarter against Connecticut, when the Huskies began the game with a 7-0 run of their own.
The Terps concluded the quarter with a 14-0 run and led 33-6, marking the Terps’ best first quarter of the season.
Size was a key factor in the game as Maryland was able to get ahead early due to its ability to dominate the paint. Not only did Maryland out-rebound Howard by 21, but 10 of the Terps’ first 16 points came in the paint. The aggressive approach also led to many free throw attempts as Maryland went to the line 27 times throughout the game.
“There were a lot of things we talked about, rebounding was a big area for us and I think we really took that to heart,” Frese said.
The Terps offense was well distributed as Stephanie Jones, Blair Watson and Brianna Fraser all scored a career-highs while Kristen Confroy scored a season-high 19 points after going scoreless against Connecticut.
“The feeling after that games was not very good and so really firing me [up] for the rest of the season and really trying to show that today,” Confroy said.
Stephanie Jones was the focal point on offense scoring 24 points and recording seven rebounds
The Terps came out hot in the second half dropping 35 points in the third quarter due to a barrage of three pointers and extended an already large 37 point lead.
The spread out offense will only help the Terps in the future according to Frese.
“It huge for how teams are going to game plan against us, now you have the inside-outside game presence,” Frese said.
While Jones dominated the paint, Blair Watson was hot from the three-point line. The sophomore a shot 5-of-7 from three and finished with 18 points.
Maryland began pressing from the start and prevented Howard from getting into a rhythm. For the Bisons, getting to the charity strike was the most effective way of scoring. Nine of the Bisons 19 first half points were from the free throws, while they shot an abysmal 29 percent from the field.
Imani Bryant lead Howard with 8 points in the game as no Bison scored double digits in the 62-point loss.
The Terps will face Kennesaw State (0-4) next on Friday at 2 p.m. as a part of the Miami Thanksgiving Tournament.