Maryland women’s basketball jumped to No. 9 in this week’s AP poll, up four spots from its previous position at No. 13.
It’s been an up and down year for the Terps, who began the season at No. 17. They’ve suffered upset losses to Nebraska and DePaul, but have taken down two of the best teams in the nation in No. 7 Notre Dame and No. 4 UConn.
Through 16 games, the Terps (13-3, 4-1) sit tied with No. 6 Indiana and No. 12 Iowa for second in the Big Ten behind only No. 3 Ohio State.
With two convincing wins, Maryland had a strong week. It cruised past Rutgers on the road before taking care of business at home Saturday against Michigan State. It scored 172 combined points in those games.
It has now rattled off six straight wins, and an offense, which had periods of stagnancy early on in the season, seems to be gelling at the right time.
While guards Abby Meyers, Diamond Miller and Shyanne Sellers have continued to lead with their scoring abilities, it’s been the slow, but steady emergence of Florida transfer Lavender Briggs that has created a palpable buzz.
Previously averaging 20 points per game at Florida, Briggs has shaken off an uncomfortable start to her Maryland tenure, playing with a newfound confidence as she’s rattled off double-digit performances in three straight contests.
The Terps have not found themselves in the top 10 since just about a year, when they checked in at No. 8 in the AP poll during the week of Jan. 10, 2022.
They have three wins over currently ranked teams, which is second-most in the conference. This will be the 240th consecutive week as a ranked team for head coach Brenda Frese’s squad, which is the third-longest such streak in the nation.
“I don’t think we even flinch when games get close. Luckily our nonconference schedule has prepared us for these battles in conference play and we’re continuing to grow.” Frese said after the team’s 94-85 win over the Spartans.
Maryland will have an immediate challenge, though, as it takes on Indiana in a marquee showdown in Bloomington, Indiana, Thursday. A rematch against Rutgers is then on tap Sunday afternoon.