From the start, the game was completely in Maryland’s control, but all was not entirely well.
The biggest story came in the middle of the third quarter. Maryland was enjoying one of their classic beatdowns when tragedy struck. Guard Ashley Owusu tripped and fell onto the floor where she writhed in pain. Owusu was helped off the floor with an ankle injury and did not return.
“[There was] a lot of contact, I think, on both ends,” said coach Brenda Frese. “Just unfortunate.”
The Terps started off the season with two easy wins by 30 and 21 points, respectively. Their first away match against James Madison looked to be more of the same. They ended with a resounding, 36-point, 81-45, victory, the most convincing win of the young season.
By the end of the first quarter, Maryland was already up by 19. The defense was on point, restricting the Dukes to only 10 points in the first 12 minutes — a far cry from the slow starts that stunted the Terps in their prior two games.
“Our first two games, we didn’t have that,” said Frese. “So to punch first 29-10 in that first quarter, it was a big, big difference.”
Maryland’s lead only continued to grow as halftime approached. By the end of two quarters, Maryland’s score had doubled James Madison’s, 46-23.
The third quarter was good for the Terps in the aspect of scoring more points, including 10 from the free throw line. However, the celebration was put to a thumping stop once Ashley Owusu was tripped and injured her ankle.
Owusu had to be helped off the court, and was later seen with ice on her ankle.
Maryland won the game 81-45 and Maryland’s defense was utterly dominant, especially when it came to defending shots beyond the arc. The Dukes recorded an ice-cold 1-18 shooting the three.
“I thought it was our most complete 40-minute game, which is exciting too,” said Frese. “We knew how difficult of a place this was from past experience, and I just thought our mentality was right. We came in, set the tone from the first quarter and really never looked back.”
Maryland will have another day of rest before their match Tuesday against Mount St. Mary’s. The Terps might be without two of their best players in Ashley Owusu and Diamond Miller, who have yet to play this season.
“Obviously not having Diamond, that’s been… not a challenge, but something we have to adapt to and I think everyone has elevated their game,” said forward Chloe Bibby.