In the first-ever meeting between No. 19 Mayland and Davidson, the Terps picked up a 70-52 win Wednesday in their annual field trip day game at home.
After a Sunday win against Fordham in which coach Brenda Frese said that sometimes teams need an ugly win, the Terps again started poorly.
Maryland (3-1) had a sloppy first quarter that included 11 turnovers, but Davidson (1-2) was also careless with the ball, giving possession away nine times. The Terps’ 14 turnovers at halftime were just two short of their season high.
“I don’t want to make excuses, but the early tip, I mean, just coming in, I gotta be more ready personally,” senior forward Faith Masonius said. “We just got to come out fighting from the beginning and know that we have to secure the ball and that every single possession matters.”
However, they limited giveaways in the second half, committing just seven turnovers for a total of 21.
“I thought we did a nice job adjusting to that in the second half and the third quarter,” Frese said.
With more than 6,000 elementary school students from the surrounding area attending the game, the Terps struggled to establish an early lead, holding just a four-point advantage after the opening quarter.
As Maryland’s starters were introduced, an accompanying portrait drawn by a student was shown on the jumbotron, and throughout the contest, a cacophony of screams filled the Xfinity Center.
“Having a stadium like that is amazing,” senior guard Diamond Miller said. “They’re the sixth man for a reason because that was loud — loud to the point where I couldn’t hear myself think. It was really fun, and we need that every day.”
Despite inconsistent play, Maryland never trailed and led by as many as 21 points, with a 25-point third quarter silencing a feisty Wildcat side. Still, the Terps were outrebounded 34-31 and gave up 13 boards on the offensive glass.
“That was an area very disappointing for us,” Freese said of the rebounding. “I think their heart, their hustle was a little bit more than ours. We kept losing the box outs. We’ve got to get more intentional on the defensive end. I thought we watched a lot on the offensive end when shots were going up.”
The home side also went over four minutes in the first without a point before senior guard Abby Meyers found Masonius for a two. Frese’s side finished the afternoon shooting 49 percent, logging a season-low 29 first-half points.
Davidson had an abysmal offensive game, going 21-for-55 from the field and 8-for-26 from three. Elle Sutphin and Mallori Haines had 12 points apiece for the visitors.
“Our defensive intensity, I thought that made up for the turnovers,” Frese said. “We had a season-high 18 steals where we forced 30 turnovers, and we definitely needed every single one of them.”
Miller paced the team with 19 points, Meyers had 14 and Masonius contributed 12. Outside of that trio, the rest of the team combined for 25, but 11 of those came from sophomore guard Shyanne Sellers.
Maryland senior guard Lavender Briggs left in mid-way through the second shaking her right hand after getting tangled up under the basket going for a loose ball. The Utah native returned to the court later on with a heavily taped hand that extended to her thumb.
She appeared to favor her left hand but converted on a contested layup with her right in the third.
Briggs continued to play and took five shots and logged 14 more minutes the rest of the game, but should she miss time, the Florida transfer will join a growing list of injured players — junior transfer Allie Kubek tore her ACL in the preseason and sophomore forward Emma Chardon recently suffered a torn meniscus.
Meyers sunk two free throws at the end of the opening frame to give her 1,000 career points. The Princeton transfer has been one of Maryland’s most consistent scorers this season.
“It’s a huge accomplishment just within your career,” Frese said. “Pretty exciting that she could do it here in Maryland in her own home state.”