- The Washington Times - Monday, November 17, 2008

The Maryland women won their first game of the season Sunday, but the Terrapins didn’t celebrate much after their disappointing first week.

Four Terps scored in double figures, and No. 3 Maryland was never seriously challenged in a 73-46 win against Delaware State at Comcast Center, but a second consecutive sluggish effort drew the ire of coach Brenda Frese.

“The disappointing thing is that we really lost a lot of effort and intensity in the second half,” she said. “Those are areas that we don’t really have a lot of time to be able to fix and correct and really sustain our focus.”

Two days after being stunned by TCU in the season opener, the Terps (1-1) came out flat again. It took nearly four minutes before Marissa Coleman made Maryland’s first field goal, but the Terps recovered and, behind the strength of their defense, built a double-digit lead.

The Hornets did their part to aid the Terps, shooting a meager 25 percent (6-for-24) in the first half and committing 14 turnovers as Maryland extended its lead to 37-17 at halftime. In the second half, Maryland reverted to the careless, disinterested bunch that trailed the Horned Frogs from start to finish Friday. The Terps finished with nearly twice as many turnovers (23) as assists (12) and outscored the Hornets by just seven points in the second half.

Delaware State dictated the tempo after halftime, and Maryland seemed more interested in watching the clock wind down than re-creating the defensive effort that built their lead.

Sophomore guard Marah Strickland scored a team-high 14 points for the Terps, and Coleman added 13, but Maryland shot 40.4 percent (21-for-52).

“That’s not the standard we’ve set,” Frese said. “I don’t like where this team is at in terms of lack of competitiveness in the second half. That’s something we’re going to change and change quickly.”

There were few positives for the Terps. Redshirt freshman Anjale Barrett filled in capably in 28 minutes for senior Kristi Toliver, who had a quiet afternoon with eight points in 15 minutes. She spent most of the first half on the bench after committing two early fouls and wasn’t featured heavily in the second.

Starting bigs Lynetta Kizer and Demauria Liles had an easy time inside against the undersized Hornets, combining for 24 points and 16 rebounds. And while the postgame mood was grim, Kizer has a positive outlook on Maryland’s turbulent first week.

“It was a learning experience,” the freshman said. “From my point of view, that loss to TCU was the best thing that could have happened to us because we saw where our competition was at and where we need to go.”

Richmond 75, George Mason 46: Danielle Bell scored 16 points as the Spiders went on the road and handed the Patriots their second straight loss to start the season. Freshman Becky Cox led George Mason with 10 points.

Navy 59, Howard 49: The Midshipmen scored 18 of the final 23 points in a road win against the Bison at Burr Gymnasium.

American 74, Drexel 65: Michelle Kirk scored 20 points as the Eagles won their opener at Bender Arena.