Despite characteristically solid performances from sophomore forward Diandra Tchatchouang (12 points) and junior center Lynetta Kizer (11 points) - who each finished the night with a double-double - to begin the first half, the Terps struggled to maintain a lead early in the game.
Although the Terrapins towered over the Hawks and outscored them 18-8 in the paint, the Hawks strength from beyond the arc kept them in contention for the lead in the first half.
Each one of the Hawks three 3-pointers in the first half gave them a lead over the Terps. The Terps could not answer to this threat as they did not make any 3-pointers in the first half.
Further hindering the Terps ability to gain an edge early in the game was their poor performance from the free throw line, as they shot just 28.6% from the line in the first half.
As a result, the first half saw five ties and six lead changes.
However, in the final minutes of the first half the Terps offense saw a change in momentum, led by freshman forward Alyssa Thomas and sophomore point guard Dara Taylor.
Thomas, who recorded a career-high 22 points in the contest, hit a bank shot with 6:54 remaining to bring the Terps within two points of the Hawks. Less than a minute later Taylor completed a fast break layup to tie the score at 24-24.
Thomas then scored 6 more points to put the Terps in the lead for good 30-29, and Taylor ended the half with a jumper at the top of the key to give the Terps a 32-29 lead going into the break.
Thomas scored 8 of her 10 first half points in the surge of the final seven minutes on 5-7 shooting. Taylor scored 6 points on 3-4 shooting in just 12 minutes of play.
In the second half the Terps never trailed, and saw continued success from Thomas and Taylor. Junior guard Kim Rodgers (10 points) also filled the void for the Terps 3-point offense, making two 3-pointers in the second half.
The Terps rectified their substandard first half free throw shooting in the second half, going 12-18 from the line for 66.7% shooting. Thomas led the Terps in this effort as well, recording 8 points from free throws in the second half for 8-9 shooting from the line.
Although Taylor did not score in the second half, she proved a vital spark for the Terps intensified defensive presence, grabbing 3 steals in the second half. Taylor matched her season-high with 4 steals in total.
Rodgers proved a crucial asset for the Terps in countering the Hawks Katie Kuester (23 points), who made four 3-pointers in the game. Kuester sank a deep 3-pointer to pull the score within two points with just over 14 minutes remaining, but Rodgers answered on the next possession with the Terps first 3-pointer of the night, increasing the margin to 5 points and giving the Terps the final push to fully extend their lead.
Thomas, Tchatchouang, Kizer, and Rodgers all ended the game in double-figure scoring for the Terps.
Maryland outscored St. Josephs in second chance points 18-0 and in points in the paint 32-12. Maryland also outrebounded St. Josephs 48-30.
The Terps take on their first Atlantic Coast Conference opponent when they travel to #3 Duke on Thursday, January 6.