COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) Even though No. 10 Maryland has rolled through the early part of its schedule, coach Brenda Frese still has concerns over the way the Terrapins have gotten off to slow starts.
Part of the problem has been grinding through five games in the past 10 days. Another challenge has been making quick adjustments on the defensive end.
Still, the Terrapins have emerged unscathed heading into the more challenging part of their season.
Laurin Mincy scored 13 points and Maryland extended its winning streak to five games with a 65-43 victory over Loyola (Md.) on Monday night.
Sophomore Brionna Jones added a season-high 12 points for the Terps (5-0). Lexie Brown finished with 11 points and has scored in double figures in every game this season for Maryland.
”I thought we really had a sluggish game, especially in the first half,” Frese said. ”We came out really slow. Loyola came out and did a great job. They were really well-prepared. I thought we played harder in spurts in the second half.”
Lisa Mirarchi led the Greyhounds with a 15 points, while Bri Betz-White scored 10. Loyola, however, was held to just seven field goals in the second half.
Brown made a pair of 3-pointers and Maryland raced out to a 13-3 lead with 15:56 left in the first half. Betz-White responded for the Greyhounds and her 3-pointer helped pull Loyola to within 19-14 with 11:48 remaining. Another 3-pointer by Mirarchi got the Greyhounds to within 23-21, forcing Maryland to call a timeout.
Mincy finished with 9 points and Maryland closed out the half on a 15-5 run to extend the lead to 38-26.
”When we went to our press, we got quick turnovers,” Mincy said. ”We also got quicker looks at the basket.”
The Terps then pulled away in the second half as consecutive 3-pointers by Brown and Chloe Pavlech. followed by a pair of shots by Mincy, increased the margin to 50-30 with 14:17 left. Maryland wasn’t threatened the rest of the way and a layup by Kiara Leslie provided a 62-36 lead with 5:43 remaining in the game.
”I think we need to come in and start the game off, the way we started the second half,” Jones said.
The Terps have now won 15 consecutive games against the Greyhounds since 1998 and lead the all-time series 21-3.
”I’m really proud of our effort,” Loyola coach Joe Logan said. ”We’re always disappointed to come up short. But I think our schedule is starting to pay off a little bit. They are the 10th ranked team in the country and I thought we battled. We missed some shots and that’s what it comes down to.”
Maryland: Sophomore Lexie Brown was one of just six underclassmen named to the Wooden Award’s Preseason Top 30 List on Monday. Brown is averaging 12.5 points and is among the Big Ten leaders in steals with 3.0 per game.
Loyola: Freshman Bri Betz-White continues to shine for Loyola after earning a starting spot. The 5-foot-3 guard is effective in creating shots and has scored in double-figures in three of her first four games.
Maryland has been able to wear teams down because of its depth. The Terrapins had 11 players get points and their bench outscored Loyola 17-8.
Maryland plays James Madison in the San Juan Shootout in Puerto Rico on Friday, and then Washington State the following day.