The University of Maryland women's basketball team, which before the season appeared to be in disarray, can move to the ALAW quarterfinals with a victory over Kentucky tonight at 7:30 at Cole Field House.

If the Terrapins (18-8), seeded seventh in the ALAW's national tournament, defeat No. 10 seed Kentucky (25-5) in the second-round game, they meet the winner of tonight's Tennessee-Illinois State game. A victory there would move Maryland into the semifinals Friday in Eugene. Ore. The final will be in Eugene March 29.

Maryland Coach Chris Weller had thought she would have a set lineup returning from the 1979-80 squad and that went 21-9 and made it to the quarterfinals. Instead, she found herself without a center and a point guard when practice opened Oct. 15.

"This has been far the hardest year I've had in terms of continuous adjustment," Weller said. "We've had a lot of untimely injuries that have made things just plain difficult."

Fortunately, 6-1 forward Jasmina Perazic is returning to form after a two-month bout with ulcers. Perazic played exceptionally well in the AIAW's 1-B regional last week, coming off the bench to make 19 of 30 shots from the floor. In the semifinal victory over Rutgers, the sophmore from Yugoslavia made 12 of 15 field-goal attempts, including the game-winner with 28 seconds left.

Junior forward Myra Waters leads Maryland in scoring (16.2) and rebounds (8.7). She also is the Terrapins' best defensive player, but at 5-10 she could have problems with the tall Kentucky front line.

Val Still, a 6-1 sophmore, is averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds a game for the Southeast Conference runner-up. Like Maryland, Kentucky prefers to run, but the Terrapins do not match up well with Still and Liz Likschu, Kentucky's 6-4 center.

"That's nothing new," said Weller. "We've faced taller teams all year long. We'll just have to hold our own on the boards and contain their post offense. Everyone expects them to beat us, but I think we'll be okay."