On Wednesday, the Maryland women’s basketball team enjoyed a meal at freshman point guard Channise Lewis’ home, two days prior to the start of the Miami Thanksgiving Tournament.
Two days later, Lewis’ first-half performance set the tone for the Terps against Kennesaw State.
Playing in her hometown, Lewis notched seven points, six assists, two blocks and a steal in the opening 20 minutes. The Terps relied on Lewis’ all-around play and stellar team shooting in a 89-35 victory against the Owls in the first of two games they’ll play in South Beach.
At one point in the fourth quarter, the Terps had made 11 three-pointers while the Owls had converted just 10 field goals.
Guard Blair Watson scored a team-high 20 points, making a career-best six shots from behind the arc and at one point sinking five in a row. The No. 15 Terps (4-2) shot 44 percent from long range.
Every player on Maryland’s roster scored at least three points. Lewis, Watson, guard Kaila Charles and forward Brianna Fraser all reached double figures.
Meanwhile, the Terps defense stepped up, allowing its lowest point total in nearly two years. The last time Maryland limited its opponent to fewer than 40 points was Dec. 20, 2015, when the Terps demolished Maryland Eastern Shore 106-30.
Kennesaw State hadn’t made a field goal in more than 11 minutes — its longest drought of the contest — when forward Carlotta Gianolla sank a jumper with 5:32 remaining in the the third quarter. About a minute after that, she converted another jumper, becoming the first Owl to make more than one shot from the field.
Guard Kamiyah Street, who led the Owls averaging 16.8 points per game heading into Friday, scored just two. She went 1-15 from the field.
The Terps forced 28 turnovers, blocked four shots and suffocated the Owls in every facet of the game. Maryland will face Miami in the final game of the tournament on Sunday.