Two characteristics of this Terrapins team that are going to give plenty of teams trouble this season are their size and their depth. On Friday night at Comcast Center, the No.22 Maryland women exploited both of those advantages against UMBC.
The Terrapins dominated the Retrievers, winning 71-45 for their eighth victory in a row. The 26-point win was their third straight double-digit margin.
Tianna Hawkins made the most of her first start of the season with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting, scoring in double figures for her second game in a row. Anjale Barrett, the lone guard on the court to start the game, had 12 points and six assists, and Alyssa Thomas came back from a cut knee that needed 10 stitches to chip in 10 points.
Maryland coach Brenda Frese tinkered with her starting five, putting three forwards, a center and a guard on the court for tipoff. That lineup gave the Terrapins (9-1) four players on the court 6 feet 2 or taller. UMBC's lineup featured only one player taller than 6 feet.
"The great thing is, we can continue to look at a lot of different combinations. But right now, our size is really helping us in terms of giving us an advantage in a lot of different areas," Frese said. "We want to continue to find ways to utilize it."
Maryland's height gave the Retrievers (4-6) problems. The visitors from the America East Conference turned the ball over four times to start the game. They didn't attempt their first shot until more than three minutes had expired. By the time they scored their first points -- a pair of free throws by Tope Obajolu -- the Terrapins had a 15-point lead.
After turning the ball over seven times and missing its first five shots, UMBC finally made its first field goal with 11 minutes 44 seconds left in the half. Obajolu made a short jump shot to cut the Retrievers' deficit to 19-4.
Rather than trying to go up against the Terrapins' height, the Retrievers tried to shoot over Maryland. All but six of their shot attempts in the first half came from behind the arc. For the game, UMBC took more than half of its shots from 3-point range. Erin Brown made four 3-pointers to finish with 14 points.
Thomas, who missed Tuesday's game at Loyola with her knee injury, scored six of Maryland's first 12 points. She played just 19 minutes in the blowout.
"Tianna has been one of our most consistent post players from the start of the season," Frese said. Starting the game is "a reward for how hard she's been working."