Maryland women’s basketball takes on Bucknell Friday afternoon in what it hopes is the start of another deep NCAA tournament run.
In a somewhat surprising move, the Terps were placed as a No. 3 seed in the Bridgeport region by the selection committee. Maryland is in the same region as Connecticut, who is the four-time defending national champion and is currently on an 107-game winning streak, and former ACC rival Duke. However, they’ll start in College Park with No. 14 Bucknell.
The Terps last played 11 days ago in the Big Ten final, defeating Purdue 74-64 to win their third straight conference tournament title. The Bison also got into the big dance by winning their conference tournament, defeating Navy 79-71 in overtime in the Patriot League title game on March 12.
Bucknell is currently on an 11-game win streak and its 27 wins this season are a program record.
Friday’s game will kick off the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, tipping off at 12:05 p.m. on ESPN2. The No. 6 West Virginia-No. 11 Elon matchup will follow the Terps’ contest.
No. 14-seed Bucknell Bison (27-5, 16-2 Patriot League)
2015-16 record: 25-8, 17-1
Head coach: Aaron Roussell is 101-55 in five seasons at Bucknell. The Bison went 5-25 the season before Roussell arrived, and have won at least 15 games every year since. He has been Patriot League Coach of the Year the past two seasons.
Players to know
Claire DeBoer, senior, forward, 6’1, No. 12. The Patriot League Player of the Year averages 16.3 points and 7.4 rebounds per game while shooting almost 50 percent from the field. She was a unanimous all-conference selection.
Kaitlyn Slagus, sophomore, forward, 6’2, No. 50. After winning Patriot League Rookie of the Year last season, Slagus averaged 12.6 points and 8.9 rebounds per game and was named to the All-Patriot League second team. She also shoots a team-high 86.2 percent from the free-throw line.
Sune Swart, senior, forward, 6’3, No. 41. An All-Patriot League third team selection, Swart averaged 11.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game while shooting a team-leading 51.3 percent from the field.
Kate Walker, sophomore, guard, 6’0, No. 20. Walker started just seven games this season and has mainly been a spark on the bench. She averages 9.1 points per game and makes over 46 percent of her three-pointers.
Defense. Bucknell holds opponents to just 57.7 points per game and held opponents to a Patriot League-low .360 field-goal percentage. The team also averages 29 defensive rebounds a game, which is No. 13 in Division I.
Forcing turnovers. The Bison force just 11.88 turnovers per game, which is 339th in Division I. This is good news for a Maryland team that has struggled with turnovers at times this season.
Maryland wins, 85-55.