Maryland coach Brenda Frese doesn’t mind learning her players are resilient early if they can figure out a way to win.
The No. 9 Terps (4-0) beat No. 10 South Carolina, 85-61, on Sunday in a game in which they fell behind by 12 midway through the first quarter, but led 22-19 by the time the period ended. It was part of a 26-1 run in which Maryland scored on 12 of its next 15 possessions.
“South Carolina came out with the first punch, but I loved the fact we settled in,” Frese said.
It was a cushion Maryland needed. After Channise Lewis’ 3-pointer on the first possession of the second half put Maryland up 48-26, the Terps turned the ball over nine times in the period.
But South Carolina (2-1) missed all six of its 3-pointers in the quarter and could only knock eight points of Maryland’s lead.
Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley said her team’s problems — it was outrebounded 53-29 by Maryland and made just one of 21 3-pointers — are all correctable.
“We’re not very good at this time,” Staley said. “It’s a young season. I’m not fretting it.”
Stephanie Jones (Aberdeen) scored 18 points, Lewis had 10 points and a career-high 12 assists and Kaila Charles scored 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Terps.
Mikiah Herbert Harrigan scored 14 points and Te’a Cooper added 11 for the Gamecocks.
Maryland and South Carolina have been competing off the floor this week, too. Both the Gamecocks and the Terps have bragged they have signed the top 2019 recruiting class. Maryland signed four players in the ESPN top 50, while South Carolina two signees are in the network’s top 13.
Maryland’s Shakira Austin scored 10 points and had 16 rebounds, nine of them on the offensive glass. She opened her college career with 12 points and 21 rebounds in a win over Coppin State. The 6-foot-5 forward is averaging 14 rebounds a game.
“Secret? It’s no secret. It’s timing the shot, knowing the angle of which side the ball is coming on,” Austin said. “I was able to get through a lot of box-outs today.”
For the Gamecocks, Staley is still being careful with senior Alexis Jennings’ knee, only playing the Kentucky transfer in spurts. Maryland’s big run started when she left after starting the game. She played 15 minutes, but still had nine points and four rebounds.
No. 6 Mississippi State 110, Coppin State 38: Teaira McCowan scored 23 points to lead seven Bulldogs in double figures as Mississippi State routed the Eagles.
The Bulldogs didn’t allow a field goal until 8:08 in the second quarter as they jumped out to a 41-6 lead after the first quarter and led 64-16 at the half. The 41 points scored in the opening frame were second most in school history just shy of last week’s 42 scored against Lamar in the third quarter.
McCowan played just 19 minutes in the game but still managed to dominate. She was 10 of 12 from the field with six rebounds and five blocked shots. Andra Espnioza-Hunter and Jessika Carter scored 16 each as Carter led the team with eight rebounds.
Chance Graham was high scorer for the Eagles (0-4) with 16 points and had a double-double with 10 rebounds.
MSU (4-0) shot 63 percent in the game and allowed the Eagles to make just 20 percent of their shots. The Bulldogs also forced 31 turnovers with 50 points off of those turns and had a 68-10 advantage in the paint.
Norfolk State 65, Navy 58: La’Deja James scored 16 points to lead the host Spartans (2-2) over the Mids (1-2).
Jennifer Coleman scored a game-high 22 points on 9-for-17 shooting for Navy, which shot just 2-for-21 from 3-point range.
North Dakota State 76, Towson 51: Tyree Eady scored 14 points and Deng Geu added 13 and the Bison defeated the Tigers in the 7th/8th-place game of the Islands of the Bahamas Showcase.
Eady shot 6 of 10 and Geu was 6 of 7 to lead North Dakota State (2-3), which shot 53 percent in the second half and 46 percent overall. Tyson Ward added 11 points and Jared Samuelson made three 3-pointers for his nine. Rocky Kreuser grabbed 10 rebounds to go with his eight points while Vinnie Shahid had eight assists and three steals.
Brian Fobbs led Towson (1-4), which shot 38 percent, with 12 points, the only Towson player in double figures.
Ward’s 3-pointer to end the half capped a 16-4 run for a 36-23 lead. An 18-0 run that included four 3-pointers gave NDSU a 29-point lead midway through the second half.