Easy vic­tory over Hawks leaves Frese un­sat­is­fied

Coach says flaws must be fixed as com­pe­ti­tion gets bet­ter; Aberdeen’s Jones has 17 points, 8 re­bounds

Baltimore Sun - - COLLEGE BASKETBALL - By Gene Wang

COL­LEGE PARK — In these typ­i­cally non­com­pet­i­tive early-sea­son games for the Mary­land women’s bas­ket­ball team, coach Brenda Frese fre­quently is left to nit­pick in find­ing flaws. Take, for in­stance, a se­quence in the sec­ond half of Wed­nes­day night’s 106-61 win against UMES in which the Terps com­mit­ted four con­sec­u­tive turnovers.

The mis­cues didn’t mat­ter against an op­po­nent that went 12-17 last sea­son and lost in the first round of the Mid-Eastern Ath­letic Con­fer­ence tournament. But when six­thranked Mary­land steps up in class, which it will next week in a Thanks­giv­ing tournament and then the ACC/Big Ten Chal­lenge, such mis­takes cer­tainly could be­come more con­se­quen­tial.

“We al­ways can find a lot of things,” Frese said. “First of all, we gave up 61 points. That’s way too many points as our com­pe­ti­tion level in­creases and what we’re go­ing to see in our league and na­tion­ally. Our de­fense has to im­prove. I wasn’t happy with our de­fense at all. Fif­teen turnovers — we had nine at half — that’s way too many.”

Mary­land (2-0) did reach 100 points for a sec­ond straight game on the strength of six play­ers, in­clud­ing four starters, in dou­ble fig­ures.

Se­nior guard Sha­tori Walker- Kim­brough had a game-high 19 points on 7-for-9 shoot­ing with four re­bounds and three as­sists in 24 min­utes.

Se­nior cen­ter Bri­onna Jones (Aberdeen) was a model of ef­fi­ciency, as well, with 17 points on 7-for-11 shoot­ing in 16 min­utes. She also had eight re­bounds as part of the Terps’ 61-25 ad­van­tage in that cat­e­gory. Like Walker-Kim­brough, Jones was a first­team All-Big Ten se­lec­tion last sea­son in help­ing Mary­land win its sec­ond straight reg­u­lar-sea­son and con­fer­ence tournament ti­tles.

The Terps’ stay in the NCAA tournament, how­ever, ended far too abruptly for a pro­gram of their stature, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing that the 74-65 loss to Wash­ing­ton in the sec­ond round came at home. That dis­ap­point­ment in part has fu­eled Mary­land, es­pe­cially its up­per­class­men, over the first two games.

“I thought we played to­gether,” said Walker-Kim­brough, who made four of five 3-point­ers. “I thought Coach called some re­ally good sets in the beginning, and we just took what the de­fense gave us. I think that’s one of the things we have. We have so many weapons.”

In­cluded on that list is the top-rated fresh­man class in the coun­try. Among the first-year play­ers who stood out against the Hawks were guards Sarah My­ers, Kaila Charles and Destiny Slocum, and cen­ter Jenna Staiti, who had 10 Fri­day, 11 a.m. Video: BTN Plus points and game-high 14 re­bounds in 10 min­utes.

Charles had 14 points on 7-for-12 shoot­ing, and My­ers and Slocum com­bined for 13 as­sists with just two turnovers. My­ers also had six points and six re­bounds.

For Frese, these first few games are pro­vid­ing an op­por­tu­nity for lineup ex­per­i­men­ta­tion.

“You’re kind of try­ing to find and set­tling in on a group that works and also see some early things in terms of who’s ready to play,” she said. “I think we’ll see that all sea­son.”

The Terps rolled to a 54-29 half­time lead on the strength of a 21-7 surge bridg­ing the first and sec­ond quar­ters. Sopho­more for­ward Bri­anna Fraser got it go­ing with a jumper, and Walker-Kim­brough fol­lowed with a 3-pointer. By the time My­ers scored back-to-back layups, Mary­land was in front, 32-17.

UMES (1-1) never got closer than 20 in the sec­ond half and shot just 32 per­cent over­all.

“Coach al­ways tell us to be ready when our num­ber is called,” said My­ers, who did not have an as­sist in Sun­day’s sea­son opener. “You never know how long you’re go­ing to be out there, and I know there’s a lot of great play­ers on our team who can score the ball, so I was just hit­ting the ones that were open.”

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