PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Abby Meyers scored 13 of her 22 points in the first quarter to help Maryland get off to a quick start and the No. 13 Terps defeated Rutgers, 78-67, on Monday.
Kaylene Smikle scored 29 points and grabbed nine rebounds, both season bests for the freshman, to lead Rutgers (6-10, 0-4). Kassondra Brown added 12 points and Chyna Cornwell had 13 rebounds to go with eight points.
“Loved that we could take Faith and Diamond back home here and the success we were able to have, with Abby coming back to New Jersey as well,” Terps coach Brenda Frese said. “And then I thought Lav gave another really solid contribution that we’ve got to be able to have moving forward.”
The Scarlet Knights had 22 turnovers that were turned into 23 points but they closed the game on a 12-0 run.
Meyers set the tone early, opening the scoring with a pair of 3-pointers. She made 5 of 7 shots with three triples and a pair of 8-0 runs helped the Terps lead 24-9 after one quarter.
“I kinda prepare the same for every game and no matter the result, if I’m on or off shooting,” Meyers said. “I try to just focus on being consistent with my effort, my energy and leadership. Glad [my shot] was falling today and glad I could help the team out, hopefully it stays that way.”
Elisa Pinzane hit a 3-pointer to open the second quarter to make it an 18-point lead but Smikle had 11 points to lead Rutgers back. It was 40-33 at the half as a Smikle layup capped a 7-0 run.
Smikle opened the second half with a basket but Miller had two layups, Sellers had a 3-point play and Meyers another 3-pointer and the lead was quickly back to 50-35. Maryland outscored the Scarlet Knights, 27-11, to take a 67-44 lead into the fourth quarter.
“For us as a team, we’ve played in so many close games that we understand it’s a game of runs,” Frese said. “With the experience of the veteran-led roster that we have, they don’t ever flinch. I love that about our mentality. We just dial back in a little stronger and we understand how talented we are.”
Maryland is at home against Michigan State on Saturday when Nebraska visits Rutgers.
Michigan State at No. 13 Maryland
Saturday, 1 p.m.