COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Maryland coach Brenda Frese didn’t want to take any chances with Monday’s late morning game against Loyola of Maryland. Hence the use of a press to ensure the Terrapins were fully engaged.
The defense was sharp from the start, and the offense eventually caught up, as No. 7 Maryland cruised to an 83-48 victory to remain undefeated.
“An 11 a.m. tip, I wanted to make sure we were awake, and I thought we started kind of slow today,” Frese said. “They milked the shot clock, which was a smart thing to be able to do. It took us a little while in that first quarter to get going.”
Taylor Mikesell scored 19 points, fellow freshman Shakira Austin had 17 points and 13 rebounds for her fourth double-double and Stephanie Jones added 13 points for the Terps, who overcame a sluggish opening eight minutes to build a 20-point halftime lead.
Maryland, which outscored Loyola 54-4 in the paint and 27-4 off turnovers, is off to a 10-0 start for the third time in the last four seasons.
Delaney Connolly scored 17 points to lead Loyola (0-10), which committed 17 turnovers and shot just 29.6 percent but forced Maryland to earn most of its points from the floor. The Terps attempted just 13 free throws and only six before the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t want to foul them, and I thought we did a good job,” Loyola coach Joe Logan said. “Austin is certainly the best freshman in the country and probably one of the best players in the country, and we’re not going to see somebody like that the rest of the season.”
Maryland led 9-8 with two minutes left in the first quarter, but Channise Lewis’ 3-pointer sparked a 17-0 run to put the game out of reach. Mikesell connected on a pair of 3s during the spurt, while Austin had five points in the stretch.
The Greyhounds never again cut the deficit to fewer than 14 points.
Maryland has won 18 in a row against Loyola, including in each of the last 13 seasons, and leads the series 25-3.
RISING IN THE RANKING
Maryland entered the game at No. 7 in the AP Top 25, though the Terps moved up a spot in the new poll released later Monday.
BRINGING THE NOISE
The announced crowd of 9,736 was the largest in six home games for Maryland, and it was fueled largely by young students who attended as part of the program’s annual field trip day.
“It definitely exceeded my expectations,” Mikesell said. “I’ve never heard that many screaming kids at 11 in the morning.”
Loyola: The Greyhounds had lost each of their last four games by 10 points or fewer, but they struggled to get traction early against the most talented team on their schedule. Nonetheless, Loyola was 12 of 27 from 3-point range. “Today, we made 3s,” Logan said. “We need to make our 2s and our 3s. When it happens, I think it will be that much more fun and rewarding for our group.”
Maryland: The Terps continue to dominate before the start of Big Ten play on Dec. 28. Maryland has won all but one of its games by at least 11 points, a 58-51 victory over Georgia on Nov. 24 the exception.
Loyola heads into its exams break and will play only once the rest of the month, a Dec. 22 trip to Monmouth.
Maryland has a 10-day break for exams. It visits Delaware on Dec. 20 in its final nonconference game.
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