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No. 13 Maryland women’s basketball cruises past Rutgers, 79-50, for ninth straight win

COLLEGE PARK — Kaila Charles scored 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the No. 13 Maryland women’s basketball team to a 79-50 win over Rutgers on Sunday, the Terps ninth straight victory.

Stephanie Jones (Aberdeen) and Ashley Owusu added 14 points apiece for the Terps (20-4, 11-2 Big Ten) and Shakira Austin had 12. Owusu also had a season-best nine assists.

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Maryland reached 20 wins for the 16th straight season and kept pace with No. 20 Iowa (20-4, 11-2) — which beat Purdue, 83-71, on Sunday — in the Big Ten race. The Terps host the Hawkeyes on Thursday in College Park, and a Maryland win would tie the two atop the standings with five regular-season game remaining. The conference tournament starts March 4 in Indianapolis.

“We really wanted to embrace the physicality,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “I thought we set the tone aggressively, when you talk about five straight turnovers to force them into the start. You know Rutgers, for us to hold them to the fewest points they have scored in conference play, then on the flip side for us to score as many points as we did, I thought it was a pretty flawless game. I thought we really played well together.”

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Maryland forced turnovers on the first five Rutgers possessions and opened a 7-0 lead barely three minutes into the game. The Scarlet Knights hit their final six shots of the first quarter and trailed 25-17. A 12-1 run in the middle of the second quarter helped the Terps lead 44-26 at the half.

Arella Guirantes led Rutgers (17-6, 7-5) with 15 points and Tekia Mack had 13.

The Scarlet Knights entered the game holding opponents to 54.2 points a game and shooting 33.5%. Despite going just 3-for-12 in the fourth quarter, Maryland shot 43.6%. Rutgers ended up at 34% and had 18 turnovers while getting outrebounded by 10.

Maryland also continued its strong shooting from the free-throw line, going 25-for-29 on Sunday. Over the past two games, Maryland is 40-for-46 (87%) from the line.

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With 1,886 points, Charles moved to eighth on Maryland’s career scoring list, surpassing Shay Doron (1,878).

No. 20 Iowa@No. 13 Maryland

Thursday, 6 p.m.

TV: Big Ten Network

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