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Maryland women’s basketball vs. Illinois preview

The Terps look to bounce back after their loss to Ohio State.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Ohio St. at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland women’s basketball looks to get back on track after suffering its first home defeat in over a year, an 84-76 loss to No. 18 Ohio State.

Aiming to climb back over .500 in conference play, the Terps will play host Saturday to Illinois.

The game is set for 1 p.m and will stream on Big Ten Plus.

Illinois Fighting Illini (8-8, 2-4 Big Ten)

2023 record: 22-10, 11-7 Big Ten

Illinois experienced an immense turnaround last season under head coach Shauna Green, who led her squad to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 20 seasons.

This season, though, the Illini have taken a slight step back. However, they’ve won two games in a row, outscoring Rutgers and Northwestern by a combined 69 points.

Players to know

Genesis Bryant, senior guard, 5-foot-6, No. 1 – A second team All-Big Ten selection last season, Bryant has continued her strong play into this year. She leads the Illini in both points (14.6) and steals per game (1.5). Her 53 assists also lead the team.

Kendall Bostic, senior forward, 6-foot-2, No. 44 – Few in the Big Ten have a better paint presence than Bostic. She averages 8.9 rebounds per game, the third-best mark in the conference.

Makira Cook, senior guard, 5-foot-6, No. 3 – Named to the All-Big Ten first team last season, Cook has seen a slight dip in production this year. In 13 games, she’s averaged 13.8 points and 2.9 assists per game.

Strength

Taking care of the basketball. The Illini have a +\- +4.1 turnover and a +1.3 assist-to-turnover margin, both of which rank fourth in the conference.

Weakness

3-point shooting. The Illini have taken the second-fewest 3-point attempts in the Big Ten, and are making threes at a 31.9 percent clip, which also ranks second-to-last in the conference.

Three things to watch

1. Can Maryland improve in the second half? Maryland’s last two losses were both decided by poor play in the final 20 minutes. The Terps need to find their closing ability if they want to string together some wins.

2. Look for Shyanne Sellers to respond. Sellers has scored 12 points in each of the past two games, nearly five points below her season average. At home, Sellers will look to get back to her usual self.

3. The Terps can’t look ahead. Four tough games await the Terps, with road games against Michigan and Penn State on tap before No. 16 Indiana and No. 2 Iowa come to College Park.

The Illini will certainly be out for revenge after Maryland knocked them out in last year’s Big Ten Tournament.