Freshman Taylor Mikesell scored 16 points to lead No. 3 seed and host Maryland to a 73-51 win Saturday over 14th-seeded Radford in the first round of the Albany Region of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at Xfinity Center in College Park, Md.
Maryland (29-4) has never lost in the NCAA first round under coach Brenda Frese, moving to 16-0. The Terrapins will next host the winner of Saturday’s game between No. 11 Tennessee and No. 6 UCLA game on Monday night.
Big South Conference regular-season and tournament champion Radford (26-7) proved pesky much of the afternoon until the Terrapins outscored the Highlanders 25-15 in the third quarter, shooting 61 percent (11 of 18) that period.
Brianna Fraser came off the bench to hit her first three shots and help Maryland push its lead to 43-22 at 6:50 of the third period. The lead would balloon to 62-35 early in the fourth quarter when Mikesell, who had 11 second-half points, hit her fourth 3-pointer.
Mikesell had plenty of support, including Kaila Charles with 14 points and nine rebounds, Stephanie Jones with 12 points, and Shakira Austin tallying 11 points and nine rebounds. The Terrapins shot 47 percent (31 of 66) for the game and had a commanding 40-18 advantage in points in the paint.
Radford, which had won 18 consecutive games coming in, had whittled the deficit to 14 in the third quarter when Destinee Walker hit a jumper to make it 45-31 with 3:16 left in the period. Walker led Radford with 15 points. Khiana Johnson added 12 and Big South Tournament MVP Lydia Rivers had 11.
The Terrapins roared to a 16-2 lead in the game’s opening five minutes, hitting six of their first 10 shots while Radford struggled with five turnovers over that span. The Highlanders battled back with a 10-2 run into the second quarter, cutting the lead to 18-12 when Walker hit a 3-pointer at 9:39.
Radford cut the lead to 24-20 at 5:11 on another Walker 3, but that would be the Highlanders’ last score of the first half. Maryland ran off the next nine points, starting with a Charles’ jumper, and led 33-20 at the half. Radford shot just 25 percent (7 of 28) and had 10 turnovers in the first half.
—Field Level Media