By Joseph Foley
Maryland head coach Brenda Frese watched a video montage on the Xfinity Center big screen of her past players and assistants congratulating her on her 400th career victory after the No. 8 Terps defeated Detroit 97-41 on Friday.
“The video really caught me by surprise. When you get to be my age, it’s really emotional,” said a humbled Frese. “Knowing just how much hard work went on behind the scenes and just all the people. That’s what it’s all about.”
The Terps jumped out to a quick lead behind freshman forward Kiah Gillespie, and never trail in the game. Gillespie scored eight points in the opening quarter, including a 6-0 personal run of a three followed by an and-one on a fast break. Gillespie finished the game with a team-high 18 points.
“She’s such a mismatch problem for the other team,” said junior guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough when asked about Gillespie. “Whether it’s her posting up down low or her calling for the trail three, it opens up our offense so much.”
But it was a balanced effort that allowed Maryland to cruise to victory. The Terps had six players score in the double digits, and the Maryland’s bench outscored Detroit’s 45-2. Other leaders for Maryland were Walker-Kimbrough, who put up 10 points to go along with nine rebounds and five assists, and senior guard Brene Moseley who had a double-double with 13 points and 10 assists.
“It’s huge. We have so much talent on this roster,” Frese said when asked about her team’s depth. “Especially when you talk about bringing weapons off the bench with the size and versatility. It’s important for us to be able to have that.”
Two thousand six hundred elementary school children were in the stands Friday as part of Maryland’s second annual Field Trip Day. The wildly cheering attendees supported the Terps from start to finish in the lopsided affair, and showed off their dance moves all game long.
“I had a lot of fun and I’m pretty sure my teammates had a lot of fun,” said senior guard Chloe Pavlech. “It was really cool to see the kids dance and be so into the game.”
Maryland now has several days off before heading to the U.S. Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam in St.Thomas. The Terps will play their first game on Thanksgiving Day, when they take on Old Dominion at 5:45 p.m. All of Maryland’s games can be streamed live at ParadiseJam.com