Terps break program assist record against Loyola

Maryland women's basketball

By: Brittney Bridges

The Maryland Terrapins (10-2, 0-0 Big Ten) breezed passed the Loyola University Greyhounds Monday night as they scored a season-high number of points in their 114-45 win. The Terps also broke the program assist record, with 37 assists in a game. Freshman guard Channise Lewis dished out 11 of those assists, while adding a quiet five points.

“I feel way more comfortable now than I did at the beginning of the season,” said Channise Lewis when asked about her transition so far in the season. “I’m getting better at it [the transition process], it’s just going to take more practice and dedication and staying focused.”

Leading scorer, Blair Watson dropped a career-high 24 points while Brianna Fraser followed adding 20 points. Watson shot 54 percent from the three-point line as she continued punishing defenders from behind the arc.

The Greyhounds (2-8, 0-0 Patriot League) struggled early on offense, with their opening six points coming from freshman Izzy Therien. The Terps press was to credit, as Loyola’s guards could not escape the length and strength of the Maryland defense.

“We put our foot on the gas and never took it off,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “To break a school record, we’ve had no team do that.”

The Greyhound’s had a relatively young lineup, with their starters being either freshmen or sophomores. Their starting point guard, senior Bri Betz-White, was benched with an injury and the only other senior, CaLee Gelbaugh, came off the bench and contributed seven points. In the end, Izzy Therien led the way with 13 points.

In the first half of play, Maryland’s main strategy was to get the ball into the paint by feeding Stephanie Jones. The Terps switched it up, and resorted to beating Loyola off the dribble which ran the lead up to 54-20 by halftime.

Things didn’t get easier for the Greyhounds, as they decided to switch to a two-three zone defense. Maryland dominated on all ends of the floor as it finished the game with 39 points off turnovers and 43 fast break points.

Kaila Charles and Iesha Small also contributed by scoring 18 and 13 points, as they helped the Terps shoot at an impressive 61 percent from the field. Maryland also shot 57 percent from behind the arc, while Loyola only made three of its 18 three-point attempts.

Though the Terps get a break due to exams, they begin conference play right around the holidays, and players are excited to roll into Big Ten play on a hot streak.

“We’re not the same team we were at the beginning of the season. We’re getting better each day,” veteran guard Iesha Small said. “I’m just excited to see what we bring to the table when conference play does start and to see the growth.”

The Terrapins next game will be in Baltimore when they take on Coppin State Dec. 20 at 2 p.m.