Terps squeeze by in Puerto Rico

Jones fu­els first-half run, Mary­land holds on to cap­ture sixth straight game

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - FRONT PAGE -

TRU­JILLO ALTO, PUERTO RICO — Stephanie Jones scored 21 points, and No. 7 Mary­land held off Ge­or­gia for a 58-51 vic­tory Satur­day in the Puerto Rico Cla­sico tour­na­ment.

The Terps (6-0) led 53-51 in the fi­nal minute be­fore Bri­anna Fraser hit a jumper and Tay­lor Mike­sell added a free throw with 20 sec­onds left to quell the come­back bid.

Mary­land made more field goals in the first quar­ter (10) than over the fi­nal three pe­ri­ods (nine).

“We found a way with pure tough­ness to grit this win out against a tremen­dous SEC team like Ge­or­gia,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “They’re ex­tremely ath­letic but proud of the 40-minute fight we put to­gether. Stephanie Jones was fan­tas­tic. She was our MVP of this tour­na­ment. Her play both nights, al­lowed us to be suc­cess­ful.”

Jones (Aberdeen) scored 17 in the first half, and the Terps held a 15-point lead early in the sec­ond quar­ter. But Ge­or­gia (3-3) went ahead 40-38 shortly after half­time, and the game re­mained close dur­ing a fourth quar­ter in which the Terps missed nine of 11 shots from the field and the Bull­dogs went 3 for 20.

Jones was the only Mary­land player to score in dou­ble fig­ures. Mike­sell and Fraser had eight points apiece and Shakira Austin con­trib­uted 14 re­bounds. Gabby Con­nally scored 16 on 5-for-21 shoot­ing for Ge­or­gia, which was outscored 16-6 at the foul line. BIG PIC­TURE GE­OR­GIA: The Bull­dogs are a .500 team, but that likely won’t last for long if their de­fense against the sev­enth-ranked team in the coun­try is any in­di­ca­tion.

MARY­LAND: The Terps got off to a fast start for a change and showed their met­tle from play­ing in a close game fol­low­ing a se­ries of blowouts. This vic­tory, al­beit by a nar­row mar­gin, should not im­pact their perch in the top 10. UP NEXT GE­OR­GIA: Faces Mercer on Wed­nes­day night, the first of three straight non­con­fer­ence home games.

MARY­LAND: Hosts Ge­or­gia Tech on Wed­nes­day night in the Big Ten/ACC Chal­lenge.

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