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Maryland tops PSU in opener

UNIVERSITY PARK — Maryland can win plenty of ways, with newcomers sinking baskets or with veterans steadying the course after rough starts.

The No. 4 Terrapins leaned on the latter group to beat Penn State 77-61 on Friday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams.

Kaila Charles scored 16 of her 23 points in the second half and Stephanie Jones added 17 points for Maryland (12-0). She also helped lock down the Lady Lions’ shooters in a fourth quarter that saw Penn State score just four points.

“I trust these two with everything,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “Just that aggressiveness in their trap-set, it was a slower-paced game to begin with so I thought that really raised the level of play.”

The Lady Lions led most of the way until Maryland went up for good after Jones hit a pair of free throws with 8:08 left.

“We needed to bring our own energy,” Charles said.

It came on the defensive end where Shakira Austin, a freshman who entered the night with back-to-back 17-point games, pulled down 10 of her game-high 11 rebounds and joined Jones to hold Penn State to just 12 fourth-quarter shots.

Maryland won the rebounding battle 52-29 with 38 in its own end and Taylor Mikesell had 13 points for the Terrapins who trailed 57-56 after three quarters.

Teniya Page led Penn State (7-5) with 24 points, and Kamaria McDaniel had 16. The Lady Lions lost for the fourth time in seven games.

“We did a pretty good job defensively for the first three quarters of the game,” Penn State Coquese Washington said. “I thought we were aggressive, on both ends of the floor.”

Maryland opened a 15-8 lead before Penn State’s offense came alive late in the first quarter.

Jaida Travascio-Green made a 3-pointer to spark a 13-3 run over the final 3:39 of the first.

Page scored nine of Penn State’s final 13 points in the first half to help the Lady Lions take a 41-39 lead.

“Maryland is certainly a very potent team and you can see why they’re one of the top teams in the country,” Washington said. “With that being said, I think we played very well for the first three quarters and executed our game plan well. We ran into a scoring drought in the fourth quarter. We did a lot of good things in the first three quarters, but that fourth quarter kind of got away from us.”

Welcome back

Penn State got Travascio-Green back in the lineup for the first time since last season when she suffered a left knee injury.

Travascio-Green was one of the team’s most potent 3-point shooters and entered the game 13th in program history with 117 3-pointers.

Big picture

Penn State: The Lady Lions entered the game having won just five of their last 24 games against Top 25 teams since the 2014-15 season.

MARYLAND (12-0): Austin 2-3 1-2 5, Jones 7-11 3-3 17, Charles 8-16 7-10 23, Mikesell 4-12 3-3 13, Watson 3-8 0-0 9, Fraser 3-8 2-4 8, Lewis 1-2 0-2 2, Totals 28-60 16-24 77.

PENN ST. (7-5): Smith 0-6 2-6 2, Carter 2-10 0-0 4, Frazier 1-5 3-4 5, Ortiz 1-1 0-0 3, Page 10-16 1-2 24, Ebo 1-4 0-2 2, Wallace 0-0 0-0 0, McDaniel 6-12 2-3 16, Travascio-Green 1-8 2-2 5, Totals 22-62 10-19 61.

Maryland 18 21 17 21 –77

Penn St. 21 20 16 4 –61

3-Point Goals–Maryland 5-11 (Mikesell 2-6, Watson 3-5), Penn St. 7-25 (Carter 0-3, Frazier 0-1, Ortiz 1-1, Page 3-9, McDaniel 2-4, Travascio-Green 1-7). Assists–Maryland 15 (Lewis 8), Penn St. 7 (McDaniel 3). Fouled Out–None. Rebounds–Maryland 52 (Austin 11), Penn St. 29 (McDaniel 8). Total Fouls–Maryland 17, Penn St. 19. Technical Fouls–None.A–2,259.

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