COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Taylor Mikesell scored 16 points, Kaila Charles had 14 points and nine rebounds, and No. 3 seed Maryland used a relentless defensive effort to overpower Radford 73-51 on Saturday in the opening round of the women’s NCAA Tournament.
Stephanie Jones added 12 points and Shakira Austin tallied 11 for the Terrapins, who advanced to the second round for the 15th time in 15 tries under coach Brenda Frese.
Maryland (29-4) will next host the winner of the UCLA-Tennessee game, held later Saturday on the Terrapins’ home floor.
Mikesell, a freshman guard, made four 3-pointers to set the school single-season record of 94. Jones made all six of her shots in the first half and Charles helped Maryland finish with a 46-40 rebounding advantage.
After yielding 90 points to Iowa in losing the Big Ten championship game, the Terrapins cranked up the defense against a Radford team that came in with an 18-game winning streak.
Maryland limited the Highlanders to 29.7 percent shooting, forced 17 turnovers and had 11 steals.
Destinee Walker scored 15 points for Radford (26-7), the Big South champions. The Highlanders were making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1996.
In four trips to the tournament, Radford has been outscored by 57, 40, 41 and 22 points.
Pressing on defense from the outset on both ends of court, Maryland forced four turnovers and held Radford without a field goal until Walker popped a 3-pointer with 5½ minutes gone to make it 16-5.
The Highlanders battled back, closing to 24-20 before Charles made the first and last basket in a 9-0 surge that put the Terps up 33-20 at halftime.
Radford went scoreless over the final 5:13 of the first half after temporarily getting back into it with an 18-8 run that bridged the first and second quarters.
Maryland pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring the Highlanders 25-15 for a 58-35 lead.
Radford: The Highlanders made great strides this season. The next task for coach Mike McGuire is to assemble a team capable of beating a Power Five conference team.
Maryland: The Terps needed a feel-good victory after waiting nearly two weeks to get back on the court following that distasteful loss to Iowa.
Charles marked her 21st birthday by playing 26 minutes before taking a seat.
The 6-foot-1 junior scored Maryland’s first basket, got an assist on the second field goal and appeared content to be part of a team effort after scoring 36 against Iowa.
With a victory Monday, the Terrapins will reach the Sweet 16 for the ninth time in 17 seasons under Frese.