Maryland women’s basketball Coach Brenda Frese gave her team the last two days off from practice to allow players to rest and recharge before getting back to work Friday and then departing for Louisville, where the fourth-seeded Terrapins will play No. 1 seed Tennessee in Sunday’s round of 16.
A handful of players did some light shooting at Comcast Center today, but the intensity figures to pick up considerably when practice resumes in earnest for the first time since Maryland outlasted Texas, 69-64, in Tuesday night’s second round. In that game, the Terrapins had seven players log at least 12 minutes each, and the pace was frenetic with both teams frequently trying to generate fast-break points and at times employing full-court pressure.
“It’s very similar to what we did last week,” said Frese, who is making a sixth appearance in the region semifinals in 12 seasons in College Park. “We know our opponent and how physical and quick they are. We had a lot of players play a lot of minutes the last time out, so [it's important] just being at full strength when we get down there.”
Three Terrapins played at least 30 minutes, including backup center Malina Howard. The sophomore’s 30 minutes were the most since she became a reserve earlier this season and her second most overall. Howard, then a starter, played 34 minutes in the fourth game of the season against top-ranked Connecticut.
Junior guard Laurin Mincy has played 36 minutes combined in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament for her most minutes in back-t0-back games since 42 against No. 2 Notre Dame and then-No. 18 North Carolina State Jan. 27 and Jan. 30, respectively.
“We’ve had our days off to refocus,” Mincy said. “Now it’s time to get back to business. We’re going to watch film, see what we did wrong against Texas, clean up those mistakes and get ready for Tennessee.”