After having one of the nation's top field goal percentages last year, Tianna Hawkins picked up right where she left off in the No. 5 Maryland women's basketball's lone exhibition to start the 2012-13 season. She scored 20 points on 9-13 shooting and grabbed 15 rebounds in the Terps 84-46 win over Goldey-Beacom, but head coach Brenda Frese had a different explanation for her success.
I thought it was her new hairdo, Frese joked, referencing Hawkins' shorter haircut this season.
Hawkins had plenty of help on the floor, most notably from center Alicia DeVaughn, who scored 17 points and had eight rebounds. DeVaughn was very aggressive on the offensive end early on, which she attributed to how the flow of the game went.
I wanted to be more aggressive, offensive-minded, and attack more, she said of her play.
Laurin Mincy handled point guard duties for a majority of the game, while freshman Chloe Pavlech also spent some time at the position. The Terps are still trying to find their identity at the spot after projected starting point guard Brene Moseley tore her ACL in late October, but Frese thought the point guard play tonight was solid.
Obviously it's something we have to work through and get comfortable with, but I thought Laurin was able to get in a groove and run our team and get shots. Chloe did a really nice job for her freshman debut, she said.
It wasn't all smooth sailing for Maryland, though. The team struggled early on both offensively and defensively, allowing Goldey-Beacom to hang around and pull within five late in the first half.
The second half was much better for the Terps, who held Goldey-Beacom scoreless for almost seven consecutive minutes at one point. The second half was also a big moment for freshman Tierney Pfirman, who seemed to find an offensive groove late in the game. She finished with 13 points, while fellow freshman Malina Howard scored eight points and added seven rebounds.
It was a grand time, said Pfirman. The scrimmages against the practice players got my nerves out so going into today I had a different mindset to just push through and just play.
Frese was pleased with Pfirman and Howard's play.
I thought they looked confident and comfortable, she said. We've got to be able to have them play at that level to have really quality depth. We know the level they can play at.
The Terps had a scare in the first half when senior Essence Townsend crumpled to the ground in obvious pain. She later walked to the bench under her own power but not without an obvious limp, and she did not return to the game.
Maryland officially opens its season on Friday at home with a game against Mount St. Mary's. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.