COLLEGE PARK — Maryland freshman Shakira Austin stole the ball, dribbled almost the length of court and threw a deft pass to Kaila Charles, who was running down the far side for an easy layup.
While the No. 9 Terps are still a work in progress, they are already getting key contributions from almost everyone on their deep and talented roster.
Charles scored 22 points, freshman Taylor Mikesell added 15 and the Maryland women’s basketball team won for the second time in three days, beating Dayton, 82-71, on Sunday.
“My teammates were finding me, I was running hard in transition and they were getting me the ball,” Charles said. “It was kind of easy to make layups when you're wide open and your teammates are feeding you.”
Blair Watson and Austin had 14 points apiece for Maryland.
After routing Coppin State, 93-36, in the opener, the Terps (2-0) got a tougher fight from the resilient Flyers, who were 13 of 30 from beyond the arc.
Redshirt junior Julia Chandler led Dayton (1-1) with 23 points. Lauren Cannatelli added 12 points and junior guard Jayla Scaife, the team's leading returning scorer, scored 10 for the Flyers .
“This was a great game for us,” Dayton coach Shauna Green said. “Maryland is a really good team. This was a good experience and we're going to learn a lot from this game.”
The Terps led by 23 midway through the first half, but Dayton chipped away and cut the margin to 51-41 on a jumper by Cannatelli with 6:56 left in the third quarter.
Maryland coach Brenda Frese called a timeout and Maryland picked up the pressure. The Terps forced a pair of turnovers and layup and free throw by Mikesell boosted the lead to 60-43 with 4:37 remaining.
Dayton beat Colgate, 67-58, on Friday, but the Terps provided a much bigger challenge, especially in the front court. Maryland was aggressive inside and finished with 13 steals, including five from Watson.
“I think you saw a great Dayton team and why they've been in the NCAA Tournament for so many years,” Frese said. “They played a tremendously 40 minute game and they never quit. These types of games are the types of games we want to be in.”
Watson made another layup that pushed the lead back to 20 with 3:03 remaining in third quarter and the Flyers never recovered. A pair of free throws by Austin gave the Terps a 78-58 lead with 6:17 left in the game.
Maryland now leads the all-time series 2-1. The Flyers won the previous meeting 56-53 in 2001.
Stephanie Jones finished with 11 points for the Terps.
The Terps committed 25 turnovers, which led to 19 points for the Flyers. Frese said the mistakes are a byproduct of the early season. “We need to clean that up and as we get more reps together, that will drastically improve,” she said.
Dayton: Scaife and Cannatelli are the only starters back from last year's team that went 23-7 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in nine seasons. Despite the double-digit loss to Maryland, Dayton has several new playmakers in the fold, most notably Chandler and speedy redshirt sophomore Araion Bradshaw, and will be a force in the Atlantic 10.
Maryland: The Terps have a deep and talented team that will pose matchup problems for most of their opponents this season. In addition to returning four of their top five leading scorers from last year, Maryland is already getting key contributions from the freshmen duo of Mikesell and Austin.
Dayton: Hosts Northeastern on Saturday.
Maryland: Makes the short trip to Washington, D.C., for a game against George Washington on Wednesday.