- Associated Press - Sunday, December 4, 2016

COLLEGE PARK — As Maryland returned home, Kristen Confroy rediscovered her shooter’s touch.

Confroy scored 17 points and made five 3-pointers, both season highs, as the No. 5 Terrapins cruised to a 92-42 victory over Maryland-Baltimore County on Sunday.

“Every shot I’ve taken it feels like it’s going in,” Confroy said. “Early in the year it just wasn’t. And that’s kind of something you just have to deal with as a shooter sometimes. Keep getting shots up. Keep trusting the process.”

After tying for the team lead with 73 3-pointers last season, Confroy had hit just three in the first seven games of her junior year.

One strong performance later, she nearly doubled this season’s percentage to 33.3 percent.

“She knows the percentages, the laws of numbers,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “It’s going to come her way.”

Brionna Jones added 11 points and Blair Watson had 10 as Maryland (8-0) got back to winning comfortably at home against mid-major foes.

Maryland has won by an average of 53.8 points in four home games this year. By contrast, its previous two victories, on a neutral floor against Washington State and at No. 7 Louisville, came by a combined 16 points.

Laura Castaldo scored 13 points for UMBC (2-5), which gave up its most points and scored its fewest in a fifth straight loss.

With injured guards Carly Harris and Brittani Burgess out, the Retrievers trailed 42-17 at halftime.

“This wasn’t the ideal situation for us with our starting backcourt being out,” UMBC coach Phil Stern said. “So it was a great experience for our freshmen, a great experience for our guys moving forward.”

Maryland built that lead by holding UMBC to 6 of 30 shooting (20 percent) from the floor before the break. On the other end, Confroy was 3 for 3 from beyond the arc.

Confroy made it 4 for 4 just after the third quarter began, then after a rare miss from deep, made it 5 of 6 off Destiny Slocum’s kickout feed.

That pushed the score to 52-19 with 7:21 left in the third. Frese could begin emptying her bench, three days after a trying 78-72 win at Louisville.

“I thought we were still pretty fatigued today,” Frese said. “But I thought we fought hard, didn’t play the score and tried to get better.”

The Retrievers don’t play another Top 25 team this season — and face just one more from a Power Five conference — as they pursue a second consecutive postseason appearance. That’s still a realistic goal after returning all five starters from last season’s WBI Tournament squad and getting picked second in the America East preseason poll.

The Terps face similar opponents in their next two home games, then won’t play again at Xfinity Center until No. 2 Connecticut visits on Dec. 29. A stretch of five games total against mid-major opponents should provide extended playing time for a six-member freshman class ranked among the best in the nation.

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough’s nine points pushed her up one spot to ninth on Maryland’s all-time scoring list, with 1,628 for her career.

With eight boards, Jones surpassed the 900-rebound plateau. She remains eighth on Maryland’s all-time list with 907.

With a campus just 25 miles away, UMBC is the closest geographic opponent on the Terrapins’ schedule this season.

UMBC hosts Morgan State on Wednesday in the first of two home games in four days.

Maryland plays the second of three straight home games when Towson, another Baltimore-area school, visits on Tuesday.


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