By: Bryan Jones
Tied at two, neither Maryland nor George Washington could score in the opening minutes of the game. After a three minute scoring drought, Blair Watson nailed a three-pointer to put Maryland up 5-2.
Watson hits a layup and all of a sudden the Terps are on a fast break and she nails another shot from beyond the arc. Maryland could not buy a bucket until Watson went on a 8-0 run of her own to put away the Colonials early.
The fact that any player can step up in different moments and have a big game has been instrumental in the Terps seven-game winning streak. Brenda Frese’s offense has a more balanced approach after losing her top three scorers from a season ago.
Maryland currently has five players scoring in double figures and Brianna Fraser is right behind them with nine points per game.
The Terps are more than willing to feed the hot hand, no matter who it is, and it brings energy to the entire team.
“I know that when [Watson is] on, it motivates us and gets us hype,” Stephanie Jones said. “Just seeing her being able to hit those shots is not only great for her but great for the team.”
Kaila Charles is currently leading the Terps with 18 points per game and eight rebounds per. She scored a season-high 29 points in the 92-72 loss to No. 1 Connecticut. During the winning streak she has taken a bit of a step back scoring by averaging 16 points per game.
Last week it was Kristen Confroy who carried the Terps scoring 23 points against Akron. The senior shot 5-7 from three-point range in front of friends and family, playing just 30 miles from where she grew up in Solon, Ohio.
Confroy’s performance coincides with the Terps winning streak as Maryland began its run after a the loss to Connecticut on Nov. 19. The game was incredibility frustrating for Confroy since she was held scoreless against the Huskies.
“UConn was just a very frustrating game for me in particular and for our team in general and so evaluating it and moving on from it, taking what I could from it and moving on in the season is what I really try to do,” Confroy said after defeating Howard in the first game of the winning streak.
Since the UConn loss, Confroy is scoring 13 points per game and with Watson’s shooting from beyond the arc, the duo is a matchup nightmare for opposing coaches.
“Our focus in shoot around today was we need to make sure we get out to the shooters which we didn’t do with No. 22 early in the game,” George Washington head coach Jennifer Rizzotti said. “Then we got to make sure we are ready to help off of everybody else, not because they can’t score but because they are looking to drive.”
Confroy and Watson have been creating space for other shooters such as Jones and Brianna Fraser. The two have been able to dominate in the paint and each scored a career-high 24 points against Howard on Nov. 21.
Despite a rough start to the season, the Terps seem to be back on track and the success appears to be sustainable due to everyone on the team contributing.