WASHINGTON (AP) No. 9 Maryland was a sloppy team in the first half. Thirteen turnovers. Just 2 of 6 from the free-throw line. A meager 1 for 9 from the 3-point range.
The silver lining: George Washington was just as ragged, and the Terrapins’ deficit was a mere point.
”We were fortunate,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said, ”that they didn’t build a bigger lead.”
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Laurin Mincy took over in the second half, forcing the action and taking the ball inside. The senior guard scored 21 of her 23 points after the break Saturday and the Terrapins slowly pulled away for a 75-65 win.
”We can’t come to any games relaxed,” said Lexie Brown, who added 14 points for the Terrapins. ”We do respect George Washington as a basketball team, but today was just one of those days where we weren’t on the same page to come out. We got it together in the second half, but against better competition we won’t have time to do that.”
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough had 16 points, and the Terrapins (4-0) opened the second half by going more than nine minutes before giveaway No. 14. Mincy’s inside basket with 10 minutes remaining gave Maryland its first double-digit lead, and a switch to a zone defense stymied whatever momentum George Washington might have had.
Jonquel Jones scored 18 points to lead the Colonials (2-2), who committed 22 turnovers and didn’t make a free throw until 1:30 to play in the game. They finished 4 for 9 at the line.
”In the second half, you saw a confidence in Maryland,” GW coach Jonathan Tsipis said.
GW ended up forcing 20 Maryland turnovers – but converted them into just 10 points.
The momentum started to swing when a driving layup by Walker-Kimbrough was followed by Mincy’s steal of the inbounds pass. Mincy then drew a foul and made both free throws to give Maryland a 41-34 lead with 15 minutes to play, the biggest lead for either team at the time.
”That was Laurin stepping up as a senior and understanding what this team needed,” Frese said.
CAN WE GET A REFUND FOR THE FIRST HALF?
Neither team led by more than five in a first half that included more combined turnovers (28) than made field goals (27). Hustle plays followed careless plays, and neither team could sustain a run.
AT LEAST IT WAS CLOSER
The schools are about 10 miles apart, but this was only the sixth all-time meeting. Maryland has won all four at home, and GW had won the only previous meeting at the Smith Center in 1994. Tsipis felt it a consolation prize that the Colonials showed progress from last year, when Maryland cruised to an 87-51 win.
Maryland: The Terrapins’ last nonconference loss to an unranked team was a 50-49 defeat at Saint Joseph’s on Nov. 17, 2012.
George Washington: The Colonials beat a top 10 team at home last November, knocking off No. 10 California 75-72.
Maryland: Hosts Loyola of Maryland on Monday.
George Washington: Hosts Grambling State on Monday.
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