“You can see we’re still learning us and each other,” Coach Brenda Frese said. “… We were able to keep our poise and our composure in that fourth quarter, but overall we know we can play better and [there are] a lot of lessons we can learn.”
Maryland (2-1) led by as many as 14 points in the second quarter, but Fordham (2-1) used a 16-4 run to get within 34-33 at halftime. The Terps expanded their third-quarter lead to 15 points before the Rams answered again, this time grabbing a 59-58 lead in the quarter’s final minute.
Back in action after missing Friday’s 81-56 home loss to No. 1 South Carolina with a knee injury, Miller hit a pivotal three-pointer to close the quarter and give Maryland a 62-59 edge. After a jumper from senior guard Abby Meyers started the scoring in the fourth and put the Terps up five, their lead never slipped below that number the rest of the way.
“We knew runs were going to happen, but we can’t let that rile us up,” Miller said. “We just stayed composed, trusted our offense and our defense, and helped us get this ugly win.”
The veteran Rams emphasized denying Maryland’s outside shooting. Understanding that, the Terps trusted one another, moved the ball and attacked downhill. That led to five players finishing in double digits.
Miller led the way with 22 points while corralling a career-high 13 rebounds. Sophomore guard Shyanne Sellers added 15 points, senior guard/forward Brinae Alexander had 14, senior guard/forward Faith Masonius scored 12, and Meyers notched 11.
Maryland’s frequent forays to the paint often led to free throw attempts. The Terps made 23 of 28 tries, including a 13-for-14 showing from Miller. Fordham finished 10 for 11 and notched just nine bench points to the deeper Terps’ 30.
That helped Maryland hold on despite a scrappy showing from the Rams, who went 18-11 and fell in the opening round of the WNIT last season.
“There were times where we weren’t sharing the ball. We were kind of being a little bit selfish,” Sellers said. “We pulled together and just talked positively. Being able to stay on the same page and make sure that we stay calm and collected really helped us move on and just keep pushing.”
Anna DeWolfe led Fordham with 24 points, including four three-pointers.
Maryland hosts Davidson at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
Here is what else to know about the Terps’ win:
Rebounding has been an area of weakness for the Terps. But against Fordham, they brought more intensity to the glass, tallying 47 to Fordham’s 42. Still, the Rams had 17 offensive rebounds to the Terps’ 10.
In their first two games, the Terps averaged nine made three-pointers on 21 attempts. In the first half Sunday, they went 1 for 5 from deep. In the second, they showed some signs of life to finish the game 4 for 11.
Fordham went 12 for 36 to keep it close.