Maryland tops Bowie State in last pre-season exhibition

By Chris Tulp

The University of Maryland women’s basketball team defeated in-state opponent Bowie State University in a one-sided game Friday, 98-47.

Maryland sophomore guard Blair Watson led all scorers with 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to give her a double-double.

“We’re really excited about Blair,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said.  “This is who she is, this is what she’s always been capable of.”

Along with Watson, the Terps had four other players score in double figures: junior forward Brianna Fraser with 19, sophomore guard Sarah Myers with 15, senior guard Kristen Confroy and freshman guard Channise Lewis each with 10.

The Terps came out and took control of the game early, leading 19-5 after the first quarter.  Fraser played physical down low, muscling her way to the hoop, grabbing offensive rebounds and creating second chance scoring opportunities.

It was more of the same in the second quarter as the Terps were cruising with a 47-18 lead at halftime. Fraser and Watson led the way with 13 points apiece.

Throughout the night, Watson and Myers displayed chemistry with each other. Four of Watson’s five assists went to Myers and three of Myers’ four assists went to Watson.

“We just have a great connection,” Watson said.  “She’s my best friend on and off the court, so I’m always looking for her and she’s always looking for me.”

Myers echoed Watson’s remarks.

“I feel like we communicate really well with each other verbally and non-verbally, especially with being around each other a lot,” Myers said.

The Terps were a little short-handed as sophomore guard Kaila Charles missed the game because of the death of her grandfather.

“Everybody needed to talk and step up their game without Kaila here,” Myers said.

The Terps are also without University of Florida transfer Eleanna Christinaki for the time being, until she gets cleared to play.

Foul trouble was also a bit of an issue as sophomore forward Stephanie Jones picked up five fouls in 17 minutes.

By the end of the third quarter, the Terps had expanded their already huge lead and were up 71-33.  Four players were already in double figures, Watson leading the way with 22 points.

The Terps turned defense into offense throughout the game by taking advantage of Bowie State’s 18 turnovers, translating them into fast break opportunities.

Maryland got to the free throw line 31 times, making 21 of them, and eventually sealed the 51-point victory.

Watson not only led the Terps in scoring, but also led in assists, rebounds and 3-pointers, capping off her all-around performance.

“I know these guys are ready to be tested and know where they stand,” Frese said.  “I know we’re really looking forward to our first game next week.”

Maryland looks to start things off on the right foot, as they tip off their regular season Nov. 10 against University of Albany.

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