After suffering their first loss of the season last Thursday at #11 Miami, #8/5 Maryland bounced back by defending their home court with a 68-61 victory over an unranked but solid Virginia team Monday night in College Park.
Sophomore guard Laurin Mincy had a game-high 20 points and dished out five assists. Her contributions were huge, because star forward Alyssa Thomas scored just 6 points and was 2 for 10 shooting.
Maryland improves to 17-1 and 4-1 in the ACC, while Virginia falls to 14-5 and 2-3 in the ACC.
The Terps trailed by as much as eight in the first half to a Virginia team that is ranked 37th in the RPI and beat Tennessee when they were ranked third in the nation. However, Maryland battled back to lead 36-32 at half time.
In the second half, the Cavaliers never went away, but the Terps also never fell behind en route to the seven-point win.
Three-point shooting was not an area of weakness for Maryland like it was against Miami. The Terps were 5 for 10 from beyond the arc, with contributions coming from Mincy, Brene Mosely and Kim Rodgers. Those are the players you want to be more aggressive in taking threes if you’re Brenda Frese. That is especially true of Rodgers, a three-point specialist who was 2 for 2 from long range in the game.
Virginia had a sharp shooter of their own in guard Lexie Gerson. Gerson was 3 for 6 from beyond the arc and led the Cavaliers with 15 points. Prince George’s County native Ataira Franklin, Chelsea Shine and Ariana Moorer also scored in double figures for UVA.
Meanwhile, for Maryland, senior Lynetta Kizer just barely snagged a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
In their next game, Maryland will stay at home and host Wake Forest (11-6, 1-3 ACC) on Thursday, Jan. 19. The Demon Deacons lost to #16/18 Delaware 70-57 when they were ranked #22 and lost to #5/6 Duke 76-58 when they were ranked #7. They are #93 in the RPI so likely less of a challenge for Maryland than Virginia was.