By Jason Dobkin
The No. 8 Terrapins women’s basketball team cruised to a 97-24 victory over the Wagner Seahawks on Sunday to improve to 2-0 this season. Prior to tip-off, the Terps were honored at half court for their 2014 Final Four NCAA Tournament run. They are now 3-0 all-time against the Seahawks, with their last win coming back in November of 2000 in Cole Field House.
The Terps had a very balanced attack, with six players scoring in double figures. Point guard Lexie Brown led Maryland with 13 points on 6-12 shooting. Head coach Brenda Frese spoke about the advantages of having several players who can play important minutes.
“The ability to have depth at every position is key,” Frese said. “Different games are going to require different matchups…so being able to utilize those lineups to our strength I think is big for us.”
Brown, a sophomore coming off an impressive freshman season and a preseason All-Big Ten Team selection, says she enjoys having multiple capable scorers around her.
“It’s fun for me to start off and then be able to distribute and let everybody follow my lead,” said Brown.
The Terps jumped out to a quick 11-2 lead in the first three minutes of the game, with seven points from Brown. Wagner center Ugo Nwaigwe converted a layup with 10:20 left in the half to make it 23-7, before the Terps ended the half on a 26-0 run to open up a 49-7 lead.
Maryland forced 19 turnovers and had 13 steals in the first half, holding Wagner to a program low first half point total. The Terps went to their full court press multiple times, and pushed the pace in transition to consistently keep the Seahawks on their heels.
The second half was more of the same. The Terps continued their defensive dominance, forcing 14 more turnovers and getting 11 more steals en route to a blowout win.
“I thought our defense, being able to change it up, utilizing our depth within our team, we were really able to throw a lot of looks that I thought caught them off guard,” said head coach Brenda Frese.
Wagner guards Jasmine Nwajei and Jordyn Peck form one of the highest-scoring duos in women’s college basketball, combining for over 30 points per game last season, but were held to just 12 by the Terps.
Freshman guard Kristen Confroy added nine points for Maryland, and looks very comfortable early in the season, despite her lack of experience.
“[Kristen is] playing beyond her years as a freshman,” said Frese. “[She] has a really really high IQ for the game, knows the right decisions that need to be made, and plays within the game. Sometimes freshman might be geared in one moment, and she just understands what play needs to be made at the right time.”
Frese said continuing to improve on the little things is important, but that overall she is very satisfied with her team through two games.
“I like the direction we’re headed in,” Frese said.
Maryland hosts South Florida on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the XFINITY Center.