Coming out of the halftime break, Maryland women’s basketball offense needed to find its rhythm — quickly. A dismal first half had put the Terps into a hole and on the verge of an embarrassing loss against visiting George Mason.
But Maryland took down the Patriots, 86-77, using a 13-2 run in the middle of the third quarter to secure a lead they never relinquished. Shyanne Sellers capped off the surge by lofting an over-the-top pass over multiple defenders into the waiting arms of Jakia Brown Turner.
Brown-Turner finished with a layup that prompted a timeout from George Mason and an explosion from the Terps’ bench, the latter celebrating a badly needed offensive turnaround.
Maryland’s fourth straight victory also marked its third win after trailing at halftime. Shyanne Sellers led the Terps with a career-high 28 points and added 13 rebounds.
“I’m starting to be able to decipher when to be aggressive and then when to start kicking the ball out,” Sellers said.
Maryland (6-3) struggled to maintain possessions in the first half. The Terps had 12 turnovers and just seven assists after the first two quarters as the Patriots defense clogged the paint and sped coach Brenda Frese’s team up.
“Seven turnovers in that first quarter were kind of hard to stomach,” Frese said.
Those miscues created a deficit. The Terps trailed by seven after the first quarter even as George Mason (7-1) missed several wide-open three-pointers. That changed in a second quarter where the visitors went 3-of-5 from behind the arc and extended their advantage to nine at the half.
But the Terps outscored the Patriots by 18 in a second half where they committed just five turnovers. That paired with a five-rebound margin to give Maryland’s offense the possessions needed to exploit its mismatches — the Terps upped their shooting percentage from 38 percent in the first half to 44 percent in the second.
“Just going back to our transition game and getting it out and running, I think we did a better job in the second half,” Sellers said.
The offense improved despite a lack of three point shooting. In both halves, the Terps only made two threes and finished with a 26.7 percent mark from beyond the arc. But they attacked the basket much more in the second half and dominated the glass to gain 10 more second-chance points than the Patriots.
The Terps did lose sophomore Bri McDaniel to injury in the third quarter. The guard went to the locker room and later returned to the bench but was ruled out for the rest of the game.
Emily Fisher, who’s seen increased minutes, played nearly half the third quarter and the entire final frame. She grabbed eight rebounds and used one offensive rebound to make a second-chance layup that put the Terps up six.
“I just need to work on my conditioning, if I’m gonna hopefully keep getting these minutes,” Fisher said.
Maryland stifled the George Mason offense, holding it to 38 percent from the field in the second half.
Sellers closed out the Patriots with 15 fourth-quarter points. Her performance, more controlled in the second half, mirrored the Terps’ overall play. Maryland offset its discouraging first-half effort and emerged with another victory in the early season.