A dominating 84-46 victory over the visiting Loyola Greyhounds at Comcast Center on Friday night was the perfect way for the Maryland women’s basketball team to start their season:
Maryland is ranked 10th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, and 11th in the Associated Press Poll, and has every intention of topping last season’s fourth-place ACC finish. The Maryland women have their sights set on the ACC Championship trophy this season, and making a run for the national title.
“Overall, with this first game, I’m very pleased,” coach Brenda Frese said. “It took us a while in the first half to kind of get in rhythm and get in sync against a good Loyola team. I thought we settled down in the second half. Our intensity was there. It started with our defense, which led to our offense and we were able to see a lot of great things, specifically in the second half.”
Rebounding was one of the team’s strengths last season, and they continued to display the same dominance on the glass in their first game, pulling down 36 boards to Loyola’s 25. The Terps also shot 50 percent from the floor, going 30-for-60, and 50 percent from 3-point range, going 4-for-8.
The Terps also won the turnover battle with 16, to Loyola’s 28, and scored 37 points off turnovers in a game that was never close.
Leading the way for the Maryland women was sophomore forward Alyssa Thomas with 20. Sophomore guard Laurin Mincy scored 11, and guard Brene Moseley, a freshman from Burtonsville, Md., made her Terrapin debut by scoring 17.
“Alyssa set the tone from the tip, and that’s what you expect for your leader and your best player, [to keep] showing the consistency that she’s been playing with,” Frese said.
“I thought we absolutely rode Alyssa the first half until everyone could get settled down. She was key for us in the first half.” Thomas, who was named to the Wooden Preseason Top 30 list, was the team’s leading scorer last season, averaging 14.5 points per game.
“I just wanted to bring some energy and try to jump start our offense and our defense,” said Thomas, who scored the game’s first six points, and 14 points by halftime. “I really just wanted to get us going out there.”
Moseley missed her senior season at Paint Branch High School with a torn ACL, but barely missed a step by scoring in double figures in her return to the court.
“It was exciting. It was my first time getting back on the court [since her injury],” Moseley said. “It was fun. The energy that this team brings makes it that much easier to get up and down the court.”
The team played without senior center Lynetta Kizer, who remains on indefinite suspension for a violation of team rules. Frese gave no timetable for Kizer’s return.
After the opening-night tuneup against the Greyhounds, the Terps will face one of their toughest opponents of the season in a Sunday afternoon contest against the Georgetown Hoyas. Tip off is 2 p.m. at Comcast Center.
“We’re going to go over and scout [Georgetown] tomorrow,” Thomas said. “We’re pretty excited.”