COLLEGE PARK - -The Maryland women's basketball team easily dismantled an overwhelmed North Carolina Central squad Saturday night at Comcast Center, prevailing 88-39 in a game that was decided well before halftime. But nearly every minute was critical for coach Brenda Frese. By mixing and matching the lineup of her young team, Frese was able to get a better grasp of the dynamics that will determine how much of a rebuilding season 2009-10 will be.
"As a coaching staff, we're constantly talking through different lineups," Frese said. "Who plays well together? Who's our best zone team? Our best pressing team? Our best on the offensive end? We're still working through it."
The Terrapins' roster, which includes nine freshmen and sophomores, is not bereft of building blocks. Center Lynetta Kizer was Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year last season and appears set to shoulder a heavier burden during her sophomore season. She tallied 23 points and eight rebounds against the Lady Eagles.
"With young post players like we have, including myself, that they're going to need somebody to build their confidence off of and seeing just, like, having composure with the ball," Kizer said. "I think if I'm composed with the ball, Tianna [Hawkins] will be composed with the ball. And then our guards are just giving us confidence by giving us the ball."
Senior guard Lori Bjork handed out a game-high six assists in her first game as a Terrapin. She sat out last season, per NCAA rules, after transferring from Illinois. Bjork was one of six players who played their first game as Terrapins. Freshmen forwards Diandra Tchatchouang and Hawkins scored 11 and 15 points, respectively.
"I was excited and filled with energy," Hawkins said before pausing. "And kind of nervous at the same time."
Maryland's inexperience - the trait Frese and her squad will most have to combat this season - revealed itself at times. With just more than 13 minutes remaining, Hawkins threw an inbound pass straight to N.C. Central guard Danielle DeBerry. But Hawkins blocked DeBerry's layup.
"It's invigorating," Frese said. "We're just constantly trying to put this team in positions to be successful. Obviously, the competition level is going to continue to increase, so each step of the way you get to see how these players are going to handle adversity. ... I thought for their first real live test coming out, I'm excited."
NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL-Bennett 2-4 3-4 7, Elliott 0-0 0-0 0, Houston 1-5 1-4 3, DeBerry 2-12 0-0 4, Blanks 1-1 0-0 2, Miller 5-15 2-2 15, Myatt 1-6 0-0 2, Pollock 1-4 0-0 2, Tolliver 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 15-51 6-10 39.
MARYLAND-Tchatchouang 5-7 0-0 11, Kizer 10-12 3-3 23, Oyefuwa 0-6 1-2 1, Barrett 2-4 2-4 6, Bjork 4-10 0-0 10, Taylor 3-4 3-5 9, Nared 1-8 0-1 2, Townsend 2-8 0-1 4, Hawkins 6-9 3-6 15, Rodgers 3-5 0-0 7. Totals 36-73 12-22 88 .
Half: Maryland, 41-20. 3-point goals: NCC 3-12 (Miller 3-8, DeBerry 0-2, Houston 0-2); M 4-17 (Bjork 2-5, Rodgers 1-3, Tchatchouang 1-3, Taylor 0-1, Barrett 0-2, Nared 0-3). Rebounds: NCC 27 (Bennett 5); M 56 (Townsend 9). Assists: NCC 7 (Houston 3); M 21 (Bjork 6). Total fouls: NCC 18, M 14. A: 4,714.
NEW HAMPSHIRE @ TERPS
Monday, 7 p.m.