Maryland women’s basketball looks for fourth consecutive win against James Madison

Photo Courtesy to Towson University

Wrestling with the COVID-19 pandemic, the No. 14 Terps (4-1, 1-0 B1G) have only played two games in the last 15 days. Maryland is fresh off of its first Big Ten victory of the season on Dec. 14 against Rutgers, 91-87. 

With multiple cancellations against both Coppin State and Mount Saint Mary’s due to COVID-19 issues within those programs, the Terps have added a matchup against James Madison (4-2) to their schedule. Tip-off will occur Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at the Xfinity Center.

Maryland is 10-1 all-time against the Dukes, according to Maryland Athletics. In last year’s matchup, the Terps overcame a 19-point fourth quarter deficit to beat the Dukes, 70-68, in Harrisonburg on Nov. 13. 

The Terps have been decimating teams this season with the long ball shooting 46% from three. Guard Katie Benzan leads the Terps, shooting 56% through five games behind the arc this season. 

While Maryland has enjoyed success from behind the arc, James Madison has struggled only shooting 25% from three. However, freshman guard Jamia Hazell has been effective for the Dukes from three shooting 40%.

The Terps currently have six players averaging over 10 points on the season: Benzan, guard Diamond Miller, guard Ashley Owusu, forward Angel Reese, forward Chloe Bibby and forward Mimi Collins.      

While the Terps have found success in their perimeter shooting, they’ve also held opponents to just 36% from three. This speaks to the Terps stifling perimeter defense, forcing their opponents to attack the paint.

Although the Dukes have a low shooting percentage from behind the arc as a team, they are shooting 42% from the field performing at a high level on the defensive side of the ball. They’ve  held opponents to only 71 points per game on the season.

The Terps have scored over 90 points in four of five games this season, with a well-balanced attack.

On the other hand, James Madison hasn’t scored more than 89 points during its 2020 campaign since they defeated George Mason University 89-70 on Dec. 6.

The key matchup in this game to watch for is the Dukes lockdown defense against the Terps’ stellar offense. Maryland is going to have to use its size to try and win the rebounding battle against James Madison, while the Dukes will look to press in transition and get open looks from behind the arc.

At the conclusion of this non-conference matchup for the Terps, the remainder of the season will feature a daunting conference schedule. However, Maryland’s Dec. 23 Big Ten battle against Ohio State has been postponed to a further date due to COVID-19 issues within the Buckeyes program.