UM women hound Loyola into 75-62 loss; Up-tempo pressure nets 30 turnovers in opening win


COLLEGE PARK -- Until the Maryland women adjust to their new up-tempo style, they can rely on their grit.

Offsetting a 41 percent shooting performance, the Terrapins made 16 steals and caused 30 turnovers, swiping a 75-62 victory over Loyola last night before 659 at Cole Field House.

Maryland (1-0), which began last season with nine straight losses, won an opener for the first time since 1993.

"I think we were a little tight tonight," said Maryland coach Chris Weller, who endured the worst season (6-21) of her 24-year career last year. "But we played with our heart. That's why we won the game."

The Terrapins had 10 players clock in at least 15 minutes and wore down the Greyhounds with a constant full-court press. Maryland used its forced turnovers and 43-33 rebounding edge to produce 73 shots, a single-game total never reached last season.

Freshman guard Renneika Razor came off the bench to score 14 points, and Deedee Warley and Tiffany Brown added 12 points each for Maryland.

Loyola, which won at least 20 games each of the past two seasons, showed a new side of its game as well. The only state foe to ever beat Maryland, the Greyhounds failed to display their usual poise.

"I thought the turnovers were a combination of us and them," Loyola second-year coach Cindy Anderson said. "They came at us with great weak-side help and we didn't make the extra pass. To go from a team that averaged 12 turnovers a game to 30, that's not good stuff."

Loyola shook off its sloppiness for a stretch, cutting its second-half deficit to 46-42. But Maryland raised the pressure and scored on seven of its next nine possessions.

With 1: 30 left, the Greyhounds reduced the lead to 66-60, but the Terps ended the comeback when Brown and freshman Vicki Brick (McDonogh) intercepted passes.

"I was a little nervous at first," said Razor, a New York City product. "Once we started making steals and creating turnovers, I felt right at home."

The Terrapins never trailed after the first five minutes and took advantage of Loyola's mental lapses late in the first half.

After the Greyhounds scored seven straight points to pull within 33-27, they lost track of Brown, Maryland's best outside shooter, in the final minute of the half. With the Terps pushing the ball upcourt, Brown sank two three-pointers for a 38-27 halftime edge.

"That's the style we want to play," Weller said. "Thirty turnovers is what we're trying to do all the time. That's the stat we're going to look at after each game."

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