By Bryan Jones
The Terps defeated Akron 75-54 thanks to a strong homecoming performance from Ohio native Kristen Confroy.
The senior scored a season-high 23 points just 35 minutes away from her hometown Solon, Ohio.
Maryland’s fifth win elevates it to the top spot in the Big Ten, as the Terps are now tied with Iowa, Ohio State and Michigan with seven wins. The Terps have recovered from a tough 2-2 start that was the worst since head coach Brenda Frese arrived in College Park.
Akron entered the game with a two-game winning streak of its own before being blown out on Sunday.
Maryland’s defense dominated the Zips throughout the game preventing Akron from getting into any rhythm. Frese had her team apply full-court pressure early in the first quarter that helped the Terps get out to a 26-4 lead by the end of the quarter. Maryland had struggled in first quarters early this season.
As the Terps kept pressuring defensively, Confroy was hot from behind the three-point arc in front of friends and family. Confroy outscored the Zips by herself in the first quarter as she scored eight points compared to six for the Zips.
The Zips fought back in the second quarter making it as close as a seven point game. Akron adjusted to the Terps pressure and improved to shoot 8-of-18 in the second quarter opposed to 3-of-17 in the first quarter. Shaunay Edmonds played a huge role in the comeback with 13 first half points. The scoring outburst exceeded the eight points a game the sophomore was averaging entering the game.
Despite the Zips best efforts, the Terps took back control of the game in the third quarter. Maryland pulled away by converting in the paint and using the Terps size advantage. Despite the 21-point victory, the Terps scored 10 points less than their average.
Kali Charles recorded a double-double for the Terps. The sophomore added 23 points and 14 rebounds.
Maryland returns home to the Xfinity Center on Wednesday to face Mount St. Mary’s (1-6). The Mountaineers won their first game of the season Sunday over Loyola.