The Maryland women’s basketball team used a quick offense and a patient defense to out-run and defeat host Loyola, 88-45, in a non-conference game at Reitz Arena on Sunday night.
Tianna Hawkins led No. 5 Maryland (2-0) with 33 points, 26 of which came in the first half. Katie Sheahin led the Greyhounds (0-2) with 19 points.
“We came out with a lot of energy and we looked good, but Loyola is a scrappy team and they made us work,” said Maryland coach Brenda Frese. “I thought our size game them some problems, but they had a great game plan for us. We had to work hard.”
The Greyhounds played well early, staying right with the Terps. In fact, the Greyhounds actually had the lead, 11-9, when sophomore Kara Marshall hit a 3-pointer with 15:29 left in the first half. Then the Terps came to life.
Maryland took the lead, 12-11, on a 3-point play when Hawkins made a layup and was fouled. From that point on, Maryland went on a 9-5 run to stretch the lead to 21-16. After a Diana Logan jumper for Loyola cut the lead to 21-18 with 6:59 left, the Terps went on a 14-0 run over the next 3:44 to take a 35-18 lead. Hawkins contributed nine of the 14 points during the run.
Loyola made a mini-run at the start of the half, using 3-pointers by Alyssa Sunderland and Nneka Offodile to cut the lead to 47-33, but the Greyhounds would never get closer than that.
The loss marked the second straight year that Loyola lost to Maryland by 30 points. Last year, they dropped an 84-46 decision to Maryland.
For Maryland, which advanced to the Elite Eight last year before losing to Notre Dame, the game was a chance to showcase the team to local fans in the Baltimore area. Frese said the Terps like to play local schools for just that reason.
“It’s important to me, and to our program,” Frese said. “We have a lot of terrific fans in this area, and it saves them the drive to College Park. It’s great for us because we can have local rivalries and still be at home asleep in our own beds.”
Loyola viewed the game as an opportunity to test itself against a great team and to get better.
“We really appreciate Brenda and the Terps coming up here,” Greyhounds coach Joe Logan said. “I thought we hung with them for 22 or 23 minutes, but then we started battling their bigs and it got away from us. We had some good looks in the second half, but we just missed them.”