Maryland Women’s Basketball: Kaila Charles Impresses in 94-86 Loss to South Carolina

No.15 Maryland women’s basketball (1-1) put up a good fight late in the game against fourth-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks (2-0) but lost 94-86.

No.15 Maryland women’s basketball (1-1) put up a good fight late in the game against fourth-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks (2-0) but lost 94-86 behind Kaila Charles’ 31 points and 10 rebounds

Maryland women’s basketball suffered their first loss of the season Monday against the defending national champion South Carolina Gamecocks. This was a game where the Terps played from behind the entire game.

The Gamecocks used the three-point shot to get out to an early lead and their defense was stout.  Maryland turned the ball over early and often in the first half and ended the half with eight turnovers.

While Maryland women’s basketball was able to get the score between 8-10 points late in the second quarter, the Gamecocks had a 15 point 51-36 lead at halftime. A’ja Wilson finished the first half with 18 points, six rebounds, and three assists while Blair Watson led the Terps with nine points.

The playmaker in this game for the Terps was Kaila Charles. Despite the loss, she played her heart out in this game. After being held to only four points in the first half, she exploded for 27 in the second. She also finished 50 percent shooting (8-16) and was 14-15 at the free throw line.

Frese was very impressed with Charles’ performance.

“That’s the Kaila we have to have. She had four points at halftime and a little bit of that is the
rhythm and foul trouble we got in. When she’s attacking the rim and getting to the free throw line15 times, you see that nobody in the country can stop her. So just a sensational job by her. A lotof players might have folded after having four points in the first half but she just put her head
down and fought. I thought it obviously showed what makes her special. She’s got flashes that
she looks like Alyssa Thomas and taking the ball the length of the floor and being really athletic.
She’s a match-up nightmare so that type of experience for her is invaluable.”

She is a sophomore guard for the Brenda Frese led Maryland women’s basketball team but she could prove to be a key piece this season in conference play and the NCAA Tournament. I know. I know. It’s too early to be talking about the NCAA Tournament for this team.

Maryland’s defensive intensity late showed how resilient they can be even when they are down by a big margin. Charles spoke about that.

“I just feel like the way we attacked on the defensive end especially late third quarter just had us ramped up and fired up so we just built off of that energy and we tried to cut the lead.”

They were down by as much as 26 and 19 points and cut the score to eight. There is a lot to be proud of there especially with the talent South Carolina has.

The story of this matchup: National Champion vs Big Ten champion, South Carolina Gamecocks Forward and Final Four Most Outstanding Player A’ja Wilson was going to be a player that gave Maryland women’s basketball team trouble. The kind of player that was going to get her points regardless of what the Terps tried to do defensively.
She finished with 32 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks and three assists.
Maryland women’s basketball may have lost this game but Maryland fans should be optimistic about the season, given the way they fought against a top-five team in the nation. Next up for them is Niagra Thursday Nov.15 at the Xfinity Center.