Maryland women's basketball sophomore forward/guard Angel Reese was named an Associated Press Third-Team All-American on Wednesday. Graduate student guard Katie Benzan and junior guard Ashley Owusu were also named honorable mentions.
The No. 2 recruit in the Class of 2020, Reese emerged as a star for Maryland this season, leading the Terps with 17.5 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Reese was especially imposing on the offensive glass; she heads into the tournament averaging 5.4 offensive rebounds per game, the second-most in the country.
Reese missed 14 games due to a foot injury last season but was one of only four Terps to play every game this season.
“Huge growth,” head coach Brenda Frese said about Reese on March 3. “I think the biggest thing is, just on the court, has been more of her consistency factor, knowing what her conditioning level needed to look like, how hard she needed to play. She’s really put that and has kind of understood how much we need that... she just really has grown from a maturation level I think in this sophomore season.”
When playing against fellow All-American competition, Reese brought her game to another level. Maryland’s non-conference gauntlet featured games against AP All-American bigs from either this year, including Baylor’s NaLyssa Smith, NC State’s Elissa Cunane, South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston and Stanford’s Cameron Brink. In those four games, Reese averaged 16.8 points and 7.5 rebounds.
The AP honor is one on a long list for Reese this season. Already a First Team All-Big Ten member, Maryland’s “big guard” is also on the Wooden Award ballot and is a finalist for the Katrina McClain Award recognizing the nation’s best power forward.
Reese has her first NCAA Tournament in normal conditions ahead of her — last year’s tournament took place in a “bubble” environment — and will try to lead the Terps to a postseason run.
“We were in a much better position last year... and I mean we knew what we were going into,” Reese said Sunday. “But this year I think we have more of a chip on our shoulder, and I mean we’re just gonna take one game at a time. And we lost the Big Ten Tournament, so we’re really angry right now and we have a lot of revenge going into this tournament. So I think we’ve had great practices this week, and I think we’re in a good mindset right now going into it.”
This marks Benzan’s second straight season as an AP All-America Honorable Mention. The Harvard transfer was a threat from deep once again for the Terps, shooting 43.5% from beyond the arc, a clip that ranks 11th in Division I. Benzan is the epitome of “heart and hustle,” as Frese coined it, bringing it with energy and effort on both ends of the floor.
Owusu, a Third-Team All-American in 2021, also garnered AP All-America honors for the second straight year. Maryland’s floor general missed five regular-season games — four with a sprained ankle and one due to illness. She returned to the lineup against Indiana in the Big Ten tournament, scoring 21 points on 52.9% shooting. Her 14 points per game average is nearly a four-point drop from last season, but Owusu is still a player that can explode in March. Her impact on Maryland was rewarded with Wednesday’s recognition.