Terps Women's Basketball Takes Exhibition Opener, 83-72
Nov. 2, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - In the end, it was exactly the type of exhibition opener that head coach Brenda Frese wanted. The Maryland women's basketball team was pushed, but did not falter and put together a game-ending 9-2 run to defeat DT III, 83-72.
Senior Marissa Coleman (Cheltenham, Md./St. John's College) led the way for the Terps, scoring 18 points. Freshman Lynetta Kizer (Woodbridge, Va./Potomac) registered a double-double in her first game action as a Terrapin, pouring in 13 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
"I hate the exhibition games that are a 40 point blow-outs where you are not able to learn anything from it," Frese said after the game. "So definitely I thought that with the timing and score of the game we were very poised. We were able to do some positive things."
The Terps jumped out to a 12-0 lead before the DT III squad, which featured former Terps Kalika France and Crystal Washington, got on the board. Maryland was powered by Coleman and sophomore Marah Strickland (Mt. Airy, Md./Towson Catholic), who scored five of the Terps' first 12 points and finished with 11 overall.
Ranked third in the nation in the Associated Press' preseason poll, which was released Saturday, Maryland trailed at halftime, 41-38 after Jasmine Byrd hit a three-pointer as the clock expired. Coming out after the break, though, the Terps benefited from 51.6% shooting to take the victory going away.
Senior Kristi Toliver (Harrisonburg, Va./Harrisonburg) knocked down 17 points, including 2-of-4 from long range. Toliver, who comes into the season just three assists shy of the school record held by Debbie Lytle (1980-83), also dished out seven helpers and claimed three steals.
The game gave Frese a chance to see how several of her new charges would handle live game action. In addition to Kizer, Anjale Barrett (Bronx, N.Y./St. Michael's Academy), Demauria Lyles (Suitland, Md./Riverdale Baptist/Gulf Coast CC) and Yemi Oyefuwa (London, England/Burntwood Girls School) made their first appearances in a Terrapin uniform. Barrett had three points and two assists in her 20 minutes, while Lyles chipped in eight points and eight boards and Oyefuwa contributed four of each.
"I thought we made a great improvement in the second half," Frese said. "Now the challenge is to come out next Friday, and be ready and be prepared from the tip."
The Terps will play one more exhibition game before getting the season started in earnest. Maryland will welcome Team Evolution into the Comcast Center on Friday for its second exhibition. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m.