MADISON, WIS. — Maryland’s Mimi Collins has confidence in her basketball teammates’ abilities. She realizes that if Ashley Owusu or Chloe Bibby starts slowly, other Terps can pick up the pace.
Such was the case on Sunday as the ninth-ranked Terps beat Wisconsin, 79-70.
Bibby scored 19 points and sophomore Diamond Miller added 17 to help Maryland (11-1, 7-0 Big Ten) earn its 10th consecutive victory and 24th straight against Big Ten competition. Collins added 13 points and a career-high 17 rebounds.
Collins said that communicating and picking up energy in the fourth quarter helped Maryland push through.
“We’re still learning a lot and we’re quite young,” Collins said. “We know we can score the ball. That is not a problem for us. I think it’s really just our defense (performing well), and that creates our offense.”
The Terps’ only loss this season is an 81-72 setback to then-No. 24 Missouri State on Nov. 28.
Sydney Hilliard scored 19 and Julie Pospisilova had 18 for Wisconsin (3-8, 0-8). Imani Lewis added 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Owusu added 14 points and Katie Benzan had 12 for Maryland, which outrebounded Wisconsin 44-29.
The Badgers played their second ranked team in four days. They suffered a 19-point home loss to No. 13 Michigan on Thursday.
Maryland has 24 straight Big Ten victories and has won all nine games it has ever played against Wisconsin. The Terps kept those streaks going even though their leading scorer struggled early on.
Owusu, who entered the game averaging a team-high 18.7 points per game, shot 1-for-7 from the field and scored five points in the first half.
Maryland coach Brenda Frese said the team’s balance yielded benefits Sunday. Collins and Bibby played big roles in maintaining strong play.
“When our guard play is off, we’ve got to find other ways [to succeed],” Frese said. “I just thought the two of them really allowed us to stay in this game and ultimately, be able to win it.”
Wisconsin coach Jonathan Tsipsis said he liked Wisconsin’s ability to battle against one of the best teams in the country.
“We just need to continue to play better,” Tsipsis said. “It sounds like pretty simple things. How we’ve competed in practice and how we’ve pushed through physicality is better.”
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Maryland entered Sunday’s game averaging 93.7 points to lead all Division I teams in scoring offense with a 93.7 points-per-game average. The Terps’ 79-point output against Wisconsin was their lowest in Big Ten competition and second-lowest of the season.
Maryland: The Terps have used a balanced scoring attack to remain unbeaten in the Big Ten. All of Maryland’s starters have double-figure scoring averages and reached double figures again Sunday.
Wisconsin: The Badgers utilized a strong scoring attack to stay in contention against Maryland. They also got a big resurgence from Hilliard, their leading scorer this season. Hilliard had scored only one point and had shot 0 of 7 from the field in the loss to Michigan.