Fraser leads No. 7 Maryland past James Madison 87-63
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Maryland coach Brenda Frese says Brianna Fraser can come off the bench and take her team to another level.
The senior forward rewarded her coach’s confidence by delivering one of her best games.
Fraser tied a career high with 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, leading the No. 7 Terrapins past James Madison 87-63 on Saturday.
“I think that’s the best game of her career that she played today,” Frese said. “I’m excited about what’s going to follow. I just want her to understand how valuable she is and how she makes us better.”
Kaila Charles also had 24 points with nine rebounds for the Terrapins (9-0), who never trailed in the game. Taylor Mikesell made four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points.
The Terps’ front court was dominant, outscoring James Madison 42-22 in the paint.
Kamiah Smalls finished with 18 points and has led the Dukes (6-2) in scoring seven times this season. Freshman guard Madison Green scored in double figures for the first time, finishing with 17 points.
“We’re trying to test ourselves,” James Madison coach Sean O’Regan said. “We don’t come in here, and this is no disrespect to Maryland, to give it the old college try. We come in here to win.”
Maryland was out of sync early in the opening quarter with several errant passes and four turnovers. Once the Terps settled down, they were able to take control and a layup by Stephanie Jones capped a 17-4 run that provided a 26-15 lead.
A 3-pointer by Mikesell and a jumper by Charles extended the margin to 43-22 with 1:30 left in the half. Maryland had 10 assists on 17 field goals and held James Madison to just 8 of 30 from the field over the opening two quarters.
The Dukes, who snapped a three-game winning streak, tried to shoot themselves back into the game but struggled from 3-point range, going 7 of 20. Meanwhile, Maryland made plays at both ends of the court and was never threatened in the second half.
Blair Watson (10 points) made another 3-pointer and the Terps led 74-48 with 6:54 left in the game.
After losing their first meeting in 1974, Maryland has won nine consecutive games against the Dukes.
BATTLE ON THE BOARDS
Maryland entered the game leading the nation with a plus-18.9 rebounding margin. However, the Dukes were resilient, eventually losing that matchup 40-29. “I would have taken minus-1,” O’Regan said.
James Madison: The Dukes, who are one of the top mid-major teams, had been great defensively, holding previous opponents to under 40 percent shooting. However, they struggled to match up with Maryland, which shot 53 percent from the field. James Madison is the favorite to win the Colonial Athletic Association title.
Maryland: The Terrapins have rolled through the early portion of their schedule. Coach Brenda Frese has been able to use her entire bench and there hasn’t been much of a drop in production. Maryland has two more nonconference tuneups before the Big Ten opener at Penn State on Dec. 28.
James Madison: Travels to Wake Forest on Dec. 17.
Maryland: Hosts in-state foe Loyola-Maryland on Monday.