NCAA Tournament: Lady Terps vs New Mexico State Game Preview


The Maryland Terrapins women have their first game of the 2015 NCAA Tournament Saturday against the 16th seed New Mexico State Aggies. This is a battle of the top dog versus the underdog, as far as seeds go. New Mexico State, however, had a solid regular season with 22-7 overall record and 13-1 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) record. This team’s record in their conference proves they’re not a team that can be overlooked, and they have three players the Lady Terps need to watch for:

1. Sasha Weber: The 6’0 junior guard averages 15 points and five rebounds in addition to shooting 35% from the three-point line. Weber has size on her side at the guard position, and that could help in a one-on-one matchup if she is guarded by Lexie Brown, who is 5’9. That’s an obvious mismatch, so look for senior guard Laurin Mincy to have the task of guarding Weber.

2. Shanice Davis:  Brown would have a mismatch of her own covering the 5’6 guard in Davis who averages 14 points per game, 3.8 rebounds and 79% from the foul line. Davis has 113 assists this season, the most on her team. So while size isn’t on her side, passing ability is. The Lady Terps are going to have to lock down passing lanes when she has the ball in her hands.

3. Brianna Freeman: The 6’1 forward averages 13.7 points per game and 8.1 rebounds, in addition to having the team’s third-best field goal percentage at 54%. This means that she is conscious about the kind of shots she takes, so the Terps should be wary of her shot selection. 

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Keys to the Game:

1. Shut Down the Passing Lanes: The Lady Terps need to be on their toes as far as closing out passing lanes is concerned. Doing so will allow them to turn New Mexico State over and get points off turnovers.

2. Attack the Basket: Attack, Attack, Attack. The Lady Terps have to penetrate the Aggies defense and make it impossible for them to get into a rhythm. In other words, hit them in the mouth. The Lady Terps must get to the free-throw line any way possible, and this is the best way to do it.

Hit them in the mouth. Be Physical.

3. Be Sound as a team: The NCAA Tournament is a new season. What the Lady Terps did to dominate in the regular season … that doesn’t matter anymore. This is not the time to crumble under pressure when it really matters. All the Lady Terps have to do is follow Coach Brenda Frese’s game plan. They’re a strong team when they play together.

The good thing for the Lady Terps is that they’re playing this game in College Park at the Xfinity Center. Game time is 1:30 pm. The game can be seen on ESPN2.

Final Score Prediction: