Shyanne Sellers dribbled into the paint and motioned her arms as if she intended to shoot. Instead, she passed the ball out to Brinae Alexander, who was positioned outside the arc for an open three.
Alexander collected the pass and made her first of seven three-pointers, pointing at the basket as the ball went through the net with her signature follow-through.
Alexander electrified the Xfinity Center, making each of her first 11 shots — she didn’t miss until the fourth quarter. Her 29 points are a new career high, adding on seven rebounds and five steals.
“I was feeling really good at shootaround and in warmups, I just was feeling on,” Alexander said. “But also, I didn’t realize I was perfect from the floor until halftime. I was like ‘oh yeah I haven’t missed a shot yet.”
The Terps kicked off a five-game homestand with a 114-44 victory over the Purple Eagles. Ten players scored in the win and five finished with 10 or more points.
Maryland shot 67.2 percent from the field, its best team percentage since 2015 against University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Alexander wasn’t the only Terp to set a career high. Shyanne Sellers’ 11 assists set a career-best, while freshman Riley Nelson tallied her most points this season with 15.
Bri McDaniel made her first career start in place of Lavender Briggs, who is out with a lower-body injury, Frese said. McDaniel finished with 18 points, five rebounds and four steals.
Maryland made its first four attempts and added three steals before Niagara scored its first points.
“I loved our start on both ends of the floor,” Frese said. “We made five straight stops on defense to force 10 turnovers in that first quarter.”
The Purple Eagles fought back with an aggressive defense. But Brinae Alexander kept the game securely in the Terps’ hands when their lead started to slip, intercepting the ball on an off-target pass from Niagara’s Destiny Strother and finishing a layup. Alexander ended the frame with 12 points and made all five of her attempts to surpass her season-high in the second quarter.
Maryland finished the frame up 33-11, its most points in a quarter this season.
The Terps began the second frame with a 12-0 run that grew their lead to more than 30 points. As its offense dominated the Purple Eagles, Maryland’s defense prevented Niagara from scoring for nearly three minutes with an assertive halfcourt press.
Maryland turned its defense into offense, taking advantage of Niagara’s missed baskets and turnovers to push the tempo and score in transition. The Terps held the Purple Eagles’ best player, point guard Chardonnay Hartley, scoreless with a trio of turnovers.
“I pride myself on defense, and me bringing the energy that I bring, I want everyone to just feel that with me,” McDaniel said. “So just doing all of that really brought us momentum.”
Niagara scored just six points in the second quarter. Maryland entered halftime with a 40-point advantage.
Alexander carried her immaculate shooting into the third quarter. She added three more three-pointers in less than three minutes to tie her career-high of 26 points.
The Purple Eagles deployed a full-court press as they searched for ways to slow down the Terps. But even with Alexander on the bench, they easily found the basket.
Maryland broke the 100-point threshold with five minutes left in the game. It’s the first time the Terps have eclipsed the century mark this season.