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Six Maryland women’s basketball players earn Big Ten honors

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Angel Reese’s First Team All-Big Ten recognition highlighted Maryland’s jam-packed day of awards.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics
UMTerps

With the Big Ten Tournament right around the corner, six Maryland women’s basketball players received season honors from the conference Tuesday afternoon.

Sophomore forward/guard Angel Reese’s recognition was the biggest news for Maryland Tuesday, as her superstar season was rewarded with First Team All-Big Ten honors by both coaches and the media. She was also named to the All-Big Ten Defensive Team.

Additionally, the Terps had a whopping four players named to the 12-player All-Big Ten Second Team. Those included graduate student forward/guard Chloe Bibby, graduate student guard Katie Benzan, junior guard Ashley Owusu and junior guard Diamond Miller. Bibby, Owusu and Miller were selected to the second team by both coaches and the media, while Benzan’s selection was just by the media. Benzan was an All-Big Ten Second Team honorable mention selection by the coaches.

Freshman guard Shyanne Sellers’ stellar freshman campaign warranted All-Big Ten Freshman Team honors by both media and the coaches. Sellers was also named the Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year for her contributions off the bench.

Reese, the former No. 2 recruit in the class of 2020, exploded this season after being limited by a foot injury to only 15 games last season.

The Baltimore native averaged a double-double, leading the Terps in both points per game (17.6) and rebounds per game (10.7). Reese also ranks second in the nation with a remarkable 5.5 offensive rebounds per game. She has also become a force on the defensive end, averaging 1.6 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.

Reese registered 16 double-doubles during the regular season, nine of which she scored at least 20 points.

There are potentially more accolades coming for Reese in the coming days. She is one of 10 players in the running for the Katarina McClain Award, which honors the nation’s best power forward. She is also on the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 and is a semifinalist for the Naismith Women’s College Defensive Player of the Year.

Bibby is a player whose personal success often translated to team success; Maryland went 15-3 this regular season in games where she scored at least 10 points.

A player that can hurt opposition from both the perimeter and inside, Bibby was instrumental in Maryland’s 6-1 “February Frenzy,” a term that head coach Brenda Frese coined.

The Warracknabeal, Australia, product started all 28 games for Maryland this season, posting 12.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

Benzan had another steady season for the Terps, averaging 11 points and 3.8 assists per game. The Harvard transfer did not quite hit the 50% mark that she shot from deep in her first season in a Maryland uniform in 2020-21, but she was impressive nonetheless shooting 44.1% from three-point range. Benzan also received the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.

Owusu, coming off an excellent 2020-21 season where she won the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award for the nation’s best shooting guard, had another impressive season under Frese.

The Terps’ star “floor general” dealt with some challenges this season, missing five games — the first four due to a sprained ankle and the last one due to illness — and seeing both her assists and scoring averages drop. Regardless, Owusu was still a star when she played, and the Terps need her to be healthy for March.

In 23 regular season games played, Owusu averaged 13.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. Along with Reese, she is on the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20, a credit to what she means to this Maryland team.

Owusu’s backcourt partner, Miller, has also dealt with adversity this season. Perhaps the best pro prospect on the Terps, Miller only played 15 minutes in the team’s first 12 games due to a knee injury.

Since she officially came back into the rotation on Dec. 21 at Coppin State, Miller has starred once again. Her 12.6 point per game average matches Bibby for the third-leading scoring mark on the team, but Miller has heated up as of late. She has averaged 14.8 points per game in Maryland’s last eight contests, seven of which were wins.

Even though both Owusu and Miller could not repeat as First Team All-Big Ten honorees, the potential is there for them to play at that level in the upcoming month.

Maryland’s lone freshman rotation player in Sellers had an outstanding rookie run. She turned into the team’s key defensive stopper, limiting players like Iowa guard and possible National Player of the Year recipient Caitlin Clark to well below their season average.

Playing every single regular season game, Sellers averaged 7.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. The No. 22 recruit in the class of 2021 also led the Terps with 1.9 steals per game.