Even with a team that finished fifth nationally in rebounding margin last season and again features an imposing rotation in the front court, Maryland women’s basketball Coach Brenda Frese has maintained the Terrapins’ fortunes reside largely with their guards.
On Wednesday night against Towson, freshman Brene Moseley offered a compelling reason why, handling the point with the flair of a player well beyond her years and pushing 10th-ranked Maryland to an 82-46 victory at Comcast Center.
Moseley scored a game-high 26 points, the most for a Maryland freshman since Kristi Toliver’s 28 in 2005-06, but perhaps as significant were her four assists against only one turnover in the first half when the Terrapins were forging a comfortable lead. Last season, ball security and dynamic scoring from the back court often were in short supply for Maryland, but Moseley’s arrival appears just the remedy on a deep team that has shown through three games it can win with balance rather than simply brawn.
“Obviously it gives us another dimension,” Frese said. “When you look at our team, on any given night, when we’re able to put the ball in the basket like we’re doing, and for a freshman to come in and play with that kind of poise and that kind of confidence, just makes us better as a team.”
Moseley had 15 points in 15 minutes in the first half, and the first of her four three-pointers gave the Terrapins the lead for good, 10-7. Sophomore guard Laurin Mincy connected on another three-pointer immediately following, and Maryland scored eight of the next 12 points for a 21-10 buffer with 11 minutes 34 seconds to go until halftime.
The margin expanded to 39-15 on a 16-0 run that included two more three-pointers from Moseley, who shot 3 of 4 from that range in the first half. The former Paint Branch star’s third three-pointer just beat the shot clock, and her only miss in the first 20 minutes rattled around the rim before falling away.
With Moseley as the featured attraction, Maryland’s back court combined for 35 of the team’s 49 first-half points, and the assist-to-turnover ratio from Moseley and senior starting point guard Anjale Barrett was three to one. Mincy had 11 of her 15 points in the first half, and Barrett added six of her 11 points before intermission. The Terrapins were particularly productive from three-point range during that stretch, making 6 of 9 after collecting seven total from that range in the first two games combined.
The Terrapins (3-0), though, didn’t completely abandon their identity from last season, when they outrebounded opponents in 28 of 32 games on the way to a fourth-place finish in the rugged ACC. Maryland outrebounded Towson, 48-30, including 22-12 in the first half; outscored the Tigers (1-1) inside, 26-18; and generally had its way on the low block despite the absence of starting senior center Lynetta Kizer, who is suspended indefinitely for violating team rules.
Alyssa Thomas, the reigning conference rookie of the year, finished with 14 points on 7-for-10 shooting and added six rebounds. The sophomore forward played only seven minutes in the second half with the outcome well in hand, and redshirt freshman forward Whitney Bays chipped in eight points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three blocks. No Towson player reached double figures in scoring.
“It feels good, but we’ve got to go back [to practice] tomorrow,” Moseley said. “I’ve got a lot to improve on, so I’m just going to look forward to that.”