Well, that was rough.
The No. 13-ranked Maryland Terrapins marched into Atlanta and made their presence known. The team dominated the Panthers over four quarters, ultimately winning 114-41 and dropping Georgia State’s record to 1-8, as the Panthers’ season struggles continue.
The Panthers took the first lead of the game but it was all downhill from there, as Maryland went on to score 20 unanswered points, fueled by their 3-point marksmanship.
A cold morning would do nothing to cool down Maryland’s outside game. The Terrapins shot 15-of-27 from behind the arc. The effort was lead by Blair Watson and Taylor Mikesell, who both nailed seven 3-pointers and contributed 23 points each.
The Panthers could not keep pace with the high-scoring game flow, struggling to find any open looks throughout the game. The team shot an abysmal 28% from the field. The poor shooting was contagious, as not one Panther made more than three baskets and not a single player hit a 3-pointer.
Coach Hill attributed the poor shooting performance to Maryland’s elite size and length.
“I think that was the biggest thing,” Hill said. “Just their size all the way around really affected us.”
The Terrapins would end the game with six blocks, four of which came from starting forward Shakira Austin.
Aside from the poor shooting, Maryland outrebounded the Panthers 49-24, with 22 of the Terrapins’ boards coming on the offensive end.
One of the few bright sparks in the game for the Panthers came from Taylor Henderson. She logged 6 points on 3-of-6 shooting off the bench, the highest individual shooting percentage from any Panther. Henderson also added 3 steals in her 18 minutes.
Coach Hill praised Henderson’s performance after the game, but also recognized the need for more players to step up.
“We need people, whether they’re starters or off the bench to be ready to play and bring the energy,” he said.
With conference play beginning in January, the Panthers will look to use the struggles of this game to help them win against more familiar opponents.
“We need to see what top programs in the country look like,” Hill said. “I think it’s a great opportunity to be able to play those types of teams (Maryland).”
The Terrapins are the highest ranked team the Panthers will face all year, marking a benchmark for the very young program. On a team that has 11 freshmen and sophomores, this season is going to be a building process.
“We understood when we started this it was going to be a process,” Hill said. “We just got to continue to get better and make sure our effort level is never in question.”
The Panthers will look to rebound from the tough loss this Saturday against South Carolina State in one of their last games before Sun Belt play begins.