xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

No. 9 Maryland women’s basketball surges past Minnesota, 90-73, for ninth straight win

The No. 9 Maryland women’s basketball team surged past host Minnesota in the second half Thursday night for a 90-73 win, its ninth straight overall and 23rd in a row against Big Ten Conference opponents.

After leading by seven points at halftime, 50-43, the Terps pulled away, outscoring the Golden Gophers 26-14 in the third quarter as Minnesota shot 4-for-14 from the field.

Advertisement

Diamond Miller (23 points), Chloe Bibby (22 points) and Katie Benzan (20 points) led the offense as Maryland shot 44.9% from the field overall and 44% from 3-point range. Benzan, a transfer from Harvard, made six of her 10 3-point attempts.

Ashley Owusu, who was named the Naismith Trophy National Player of the Week on Tuesday after she averaged 19.7 points, 6.7 assists and 6.0 rebounds in three Maryland victories, added 11 points and eight assists, including a buzzer-beating jumper before halftime.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“It’s a testament to the great talent and depth that we have,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “When we share the basketball, great things are in store for us. We know we can score ... the concern for us is defense and rebounding.”

The Terps, who entered Thursday ranked second in the country in scoring offense at 94.1 points per game, eclipsed 90 points for the eighth time this season, including three games with 100 points or more.

The Maryland defense also made it difficult for Minnesota, recording seven steals and six blocks and scoring 24 points off turnovers. The Terps also held the rebounding edge, 38-34.

Jasmine Powell scored 22 points on 8-for-17 shooting, including 4-for-8 from 3-point range, to lead Minnesota (2-6, 1-6). Sara Scalia added 14 points and Klarke Sconiers chipped in 13. The Gophers have just one victory since a season-opening win over Eastern Illinois on Dec. 2.

Advertisement

Maryland took over with a dominant third quarter. Miller rattled off seven straight points to cap a 10-0 run, and she converted a three-point play at the end of a 9-0 run later in the quarter. Benzan’s fifth 3-pointer of the night gave the Terps a 76-57 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Miller’s jump shot gave Maryland its largest lead of the night at 88-61.

Bibby credited a spirited halftime talk from Frese for the team’s recovery from a slow start.

“She definitely got onto us, but that’s definitely what we need” Bibby said. “We’re a young team and we’re still learning. If we do that against a top 10 team, we’re down by 20.”

In a matchup of the top offense and the bottom-ranked defense in the Big Ten, the Gophers kept it competitive with a couple of early runs, both keyed by Powell’s long-range shooting. Trailing 8-2, the Gophers rattled off 11 of the next 13 points, capped Powell’s 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions.

Powell hit consecutive 3s early in the second quarter as the Gophers pulled within 28-25.

“Many times we get in a drought and we don’t score for long periods of time,” Powell said. “I took it upon myself this game to make sure that didn’t happen.”

The Gophers had no answer for Bibby, a 6-foot-1 senior transfer from Mississippi State. She hit a pair of 3-pointers and a short jumper to spark the Terps in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Bibby scored on a putback, hit a pair of free throws and went the length of the floor with a steal for a layup as Maryland stretched its lead to 50-43 at halftime.

Minnesota led 13-10 with 2:52 remaining in the first quarter, but two free throws from Bibby and a layup from Miller gave the Terps the lead for good.

Maryland will next play at Wisconsin at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Mount St. Mary’s 84, Sacred Heart 60: A 17-1 run in the first quarter propelled the Mountaineers over the Pioneers (2-5, 2-3) for their fourth straight victory to remain unbeaten in Northeast Conference play.

Five players posted double figures for the Mount (4-2, 3-0), led by Michaela Harrison with 15 points. Freshman Jessica Tomasetti scored a career-high 12 points, while Aryna Taylor (14 points), Kendall Bresee (10 points) and Bridget Birkhead (10 points) finished in double figures. Mount St. Mary’s shot 48.3% from the field, including 42.9% from 3-point range, and went 17-for-19 from the free-throw line.

Isabella Hunt shot 4-of-6 from the field and matched Bresee with a team-best seven rebounds. Jada Lee made her Mount St. Mary’s debut, scoring two points and adding two rebounds and two assists in 11 minutes.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement