Maryland welcomes Loyola in an in-state showdown

By: Cody Wilcox

After beating James Madison on Saturday, Maryland (9-0) is welcoming their neighboring school of Loyola University Maryland (0-9) to College Park today for their last non-conference home game of the season, which will tip off at 11 a.m.

Maryland doesn’t usually have mid-day game times during weekdays, but the Terps are hosting their annual Field Trip Day game, where the team welcomes over 6,000 local elementary and middle school students for the game.

Entering into Monday’s matchup, the No. 7 nationally ranked Maryland remains one of 20 undefeated teams left in NCAA Division I women’s basketball this season. They are currently tied for first in the Big Ten standings with Indiana and No. 14 Minnesota, who are also undefeated on the season.

On the other side, Loyola sits at the bottom of the pack in the Patriot League standings as they still search for their first win of the season.

Here are three things to know before the 11 a.m. tip off between the Terps and Greyhounds:

Previous Matchup:

It has been 364 days since Maryland last played Loyola. During their previous game on Dec. 11, 2017, the Terps were able to dish out 37 assists as a team, which stands as a Big Ten and program-record. The previous Big Ten record for team assists was 35 during a matchup between Michigan and Purdue in 1986.  

Maryland jumped off to a 22-8 lead at the end of the first quarter and controlled the rest of the game, routing Loyola with a 114-45 win.

While Loyola only had on scorer in double-digits, forward Isabella Therien, who had 13 points, the Terps welcomed five scorers in double-digits. Blair Watson and Brianna Fraser led the way for Maryland, contributing 24 and 20 points respectively.

Maryland currently holds a 24-3 advantage all-time in the series and has won in the last 17 meetings between the two teams, according to Maryland Athletics.

The last time the Greyhound beat the Terps was during a seven-point victory in 1998. But the last time Loyola won in College Park was the year before, in 1997, which was also a 7-point victory.

The Opponent:

Loyola is coming off of a triple-overtime 75-70 loss to St. Francis College on Friday, which is the longest game played in program history.

The Greyhounds are averaging 49.4 points per game, with Therien continuing to lead the way with 11.4 points per game. However, she has not appeared in the last two games for Loyola.

But other players like Delaney Connolly and Bri Betz-White have stepped up for the Greyhounds, as the two have accounted for 41 points in the last two games.

Brianna Fraser:

Fraser, the lone senior on Maryland, is coming off of her biggest game of the season. The 6-foot-3 forward had 24 points to go along with 11 rebounds in Maryland’s 87-63 win on Saturday.

“[Fraser] obviously puts our team at another level when she’s locked in like she was today,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said following the game on Nov. 8.

Fraser’s minutes have been varied throughout the season, along with her rebound and scoring averages. But Fraser was able to put that all aside when her number was called Saturday.

“I think I just came out ready,” Fraser said after the game. “My teammates gave me a lot of confidence to just come out and play my game.”

With Fraser coming off of what Frese classified as “the best game of her career,” Fraser could see an increase in minutes as the Terps continue their final two games of non-conference play.

“I’m excited for what’s going to follow. Because this is who [Fraser] is—just for her to understand how valuable she is for her team and how she makes us better,” Frese said on Nov. 8. “She cares so much about her team.”

And her teammates obviously care for Fraser as well.

“We’re obviously all trying to play for her,” freshman guard Taylor Mikesell said Nov. 8. “Our number one goal in the end is to be in Tampa [for the Final Four], and we’re all trying to do that for [Fraser] right now.”