COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Sophomore guard Kaila Charles tallied a career-high 31 points, including 27 in the second half, as the No. 15 Maryland women’s basketball team (1-1) fell just short against defending national champions and fourth-ranked South Carolina (2-0), 94-86, Monday evening in the XFINITY Center.
“Obviously a great experience for our young team to be able to go through,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “We obviously know that the second game of the season in November isn’t who we are going to be come January, February or March. Being able to learn from the first quarter we dug ourselves into too big of a hole to turning it around and waking up. I love the fight of our team. I thought our chemistry really came together late in the fourth quarter and then I thought you saw a true picture of our team in the fourth quarter when we settled in and played Maryland basketball.”
Charles tied her career high and led the Terps with 10 boards. Sophomore guard Blair Watson tallied 14 points while freshman guard led Maryland with six assists.
The Gamecocks took a 29-13 lead at the end of the first quarter but Maryland outscored the visitors 23-22 in the second to take a 51-36 deficit into halftime.
South Carolina picked up its largest lead, 71-45, with 2:20 left in the third quarter. Charles had 19 points in the fourth quarter as the Terps cut the lead to just six points, 86-80, with 1:41 remaining in the game. A layup from Channise Lewis brought Maryland within three at one point, but South Carolina was able to close the game, 94-86.
Maryland is ranked No. 15 in the Associated Press poll and No. 13 in the USA Today Coaches Preseason poll.
Next, Maryland will host Niagara (0-2) Thursday at 11 a.m. for the Terps' annual Field Trip Day game. The Terrapins will welcome over 5,000 local elementary and middle school students for the game.
A limited amount of parking is available for the Field Trip Day game for season ticket holders in Lot 4B or XFINITY Visitors Lot (XVL) free of charge. Fans parked in other lots around the XFINITY Center are subject to ticketing. Parking will be on a first come first serve basis, once filled over flow parking is located in Regents Drive Garage at the hourly rate. Click here for a campus parking map.