No. 7 Maryland beats Morgan State 68-44 in Puerto Rico
TRUJILLO ALTO, Puerto Rico (AP) — Kaila Charles scored 18 points, Taylor Mikesell added 17 and No. 7 Maryland used a strong second half to beat Morgan State 68-44 Friday in the Puerto Rico Clasico tournament.
In a nonconference matchup between Maryland-based teams, the Terrapins (5-0) led by only 28-22 at halftime before Mikesell scored 14 in a 22-point third quarter that pushed the margin to 15 points.
A three-point play by Charles made it 57-35 with 5:55 left, and Maryland coasted to the finish.
The Terrapins outscored the Bears 18-9 over the final 10 minutes.
“I thought we started the game slow and I think that’s a credit to Morgan State,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “I thought they were the more aggressive team. Our team was challenged at halftime and I thought we had a great response in the second half.
“Stephanie Jones gave us a tremendous, consistent effort for 40 minutes and Taylor Mikesell gave us some great 3s in the second half. Kaila Charles got going. We are going to have to continue to step up and play a 40-minute game.”
Jones had 10 points and 11 rebounds for Maryland and Shakira Austin had 14 rebounds. The Terrapins finished with a 53-19 advantage on the boards.
Adreora Coleman scored 20 for the Bears (1-5), who lost to Georgia 60-33 in a first-round game.
It was another in a series of slow starts for Maryland. The Terps were coming an 85-61 win over No. 10 South Carolina, which took an early 18-6 lead before Maryland took control with a 39-8 run to halftime.
In this one, the Terrapins were 12 for 32 from the floor in the first half and 15 for 26 the rest of the way.
Morgan State: Despite the 24-point margin of defeat, the Bears can take solace in keeping it close for a half.
Maryland: The Terrapins won easily, but they’ve got to get a handle on their propensity to start slowly, which could prove costly if not corrected.
Morgan State: Hosts Central Connecticut State on Monday.
Maryland: Closes play in Puerto Rico on Saturday against Georgia (3-2).