St. Frances graduate Angel Reese, The Baltimore Sun’s Girls Basketball Player of the Year last season, turned in a sensational college debut for Maryland on Friday afternoon.
Reese and Diamond Miller each scored 20 points, five Maryland players reached double figures and the No. 16 Terps broke away from Davidson after halftime for a 94-72 season-opening win at the Gulf Coast Challenge.
Reese also had nine rebounds and triggered a decisive run by the Terps.
Davidson was within 40-37 at halftime but Reese scored five straight points just over a minute into the third quarter as Maryland forced three consecutive Davidson turnovers, including back-to-back steals by Reese and Miller.
Miller’s 20 was career high. Katie Benzan added 13 points while Ashley Owusu and Faith Masonius scored 10 each.
“It’s been a long time coming for our kids to be ready for this day,” Terps coach Brenda Frese said. “They were super fired up going into this game. I thought we had a slow start and the foul trouble early really impacted us. We just had great play off the bench from Faith Masonius. Diamond was extremely consistent for us and Angel was able to get her feet wet as a freshman playing through some foul trouble. She gave us a phenomenal second half when she was able to play. Some great things for us to be able to build off of. Looking forward to the competition [this weekend].”
Freshman Reese, Benzan, a graduate transfer from Harvard, and Mississippi State transfer Chloe Bibby (nine points), combined to score 21 of Maryland’s 27 points in the breakaway third quarter.
Chloe Welch led the Wildcats with a career-high 23 points and sophomore Peyton Carter scored nine with four rebounds in her first career start. Cassidy Gould added 10 points.
Maryland shot 50% for the game, making 34-of-68 but just 2-of-13 from distance. The Terps pounded Davidson in the paint, 60-32. Maryland had 10 steals — Miller. Bibby, Mimi Collins and Masonius each with two.
The Terps continue in the tournament Saturday with a 5:30 p.m. matchup against No. 24 Missouri State.
Buffalo 74, Towson 65: A strong second half wasn’t enough to keep the Tigers (0-3) from another loss in the “Bubbleville” event at the Mohegan Sun arena in Connecticut.