Maryland women’s basketball dominates George Washington on defense, winning 69-30

 Maryland guard Blair Watson (22) buckles down on the defensive end, keeping George Washington guard Mei-Lyn Bautista (21) in front of her during the beginning of the first quarter at the Charles E. Smith Center in Washington on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. The Terps won 69-30. (Alexandra Glover/The Black Explosion)

Maryland guard Blair Watson (22) buckles down on the defensive end, keeping George Washington guard Mei-Lyn Bautista (21) in front of her during the beginning of the first quarter at the Charles E. Smith Center in Washington on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. The Terps won 69-30. (Alexandra Glover/The Black Explosion)

The Maryland women’s basketball team stifled George Washington on defense Wednesday night in a 69-30 victory over the Colonials in Washington, D.C.

Forward Brianna Fraser led the team with 16 points, while guards Taylor Mikesell and Kaila Charles added 13 and 12, respectively.

Although Maryland’s ability to finish around the arc lagged throughout the majority of the game, they maintained a substantial lead over George Washington through their high-energy defensive efforts.

“I thought their energy was sensational, which I thought led to tremendous defense,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “I thought we were locked in really aggressively from the tip, really wanting to be able to set the tone, I thought both halves. We responded really well tonight.”

In addition to their 25-point lead at the end of the first half, Maryland finished the second quarter with a total of 20 defensive rebounds, seven steals and five blocks.

However, the Terps’ defensive highlight occurred early in the second half when they prevented the Colonials from scoring for over eight minutes, holding them to only three points within the third quarter.

“We were just focusing on playing defense,” Charles said. “We realized that we were holding a scoreless team most of the game, third quarter. It was a big eye-opening thing to see because we could see how when we lock in as a team, we could play good defense.”

Despite the Terps concluding the first half with 11 missed 3-pointers, their offensive success heightened in the second half once Frese adjusted the team’s focus to getting the ball inside the paint.

Once the inside players began receiving more touches under the basket, additional opportunities opened up for the guards to drive and dump, allowing most of the team to make offensive moves around the rim.

“I think because we have such powerful shooters, it opens it up in the paint,” Fraser said. “Our teammates were just pounding it inside. They saw that we had an advantage in the post, and they just kept feeding us.”

Maryland heads to South Carolina on Sunday for a matchup against the No. 10 Gamecocks.

“It’s just keep getting better,” Frese said. “They’re a great team, they’re really well coached, but I know that we’re gonna be excited about the environment and the opportunity. This is what you live for, is to play in these types of games, and I know that it will be easy to walk into practice to be prepared.”