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Maryland women’s basketball rolls past Wisconsin, 71-44

The Terps cruise to another Big Ten victory.

Maryland women’s basketball Photo by Maryland Athletics

Maryland women’s basketball continued its perfect run in Big Ten play on Sunday with a 71-44 road win over Wisconsin. The No. 13 Terps have now won 13 consecutive games.

This was a drama-free victory, as Maryland took a lead immediately and was in control throughout the game. Wisconsin was within striking distance late in the second quarter, but the Terps closed the first half on a 14-0 run and cruised from there.

Maryland’s bench produced its top two scorers, as Eleanna Christinaki finished with 14 points and Ieshia Small tallied 13 points. Kristen Confroy had 12 points on four made three-pointers and added a team-high seven boards. Five other Terps had six rebounds, including Kaila Charles, who also had 10 points.

The Terps dominated most statistical categories, shooting 15 percent better than the Badgers and making 43 percent of their three-point attempts. Maryland also handled Wisconsin on the glass, winning the rebound battle 42-25. Wisconsin has been near the bottom of the Big Ten in recent years, but Maryland still did what it had to do on the road.

Maryland wasted no time gaining separation, taking a 15-4 lead late in the first quarter. The Terps hit three triples in the opening frame, while Wisconsin started 2-of-13 from the field and went scoreless for nearly six minutes before Cayla McMorris’ three-pointer with 10 seconds left in the period made it 15-7.

The Badgers kept it somewhat close in the second, as they trailed just 23-18 with 3:18 remaining in the half. But Kristen Confroy and Blair Watson hit threes on back-to-back possessions to start a 14-0 Maryland run, and the Terps entered halftime with a 37-18 advantage.

Maryland’s defense continued to clamp down on the Badgers in the third quarter, surrendering just nine points. The offense scored 17, with three Terps reaching double figures in the period (Confroy reached the mark first). Maryland entered the fourth quarter leading 54-27, and while the margin reached 30 points early in the final frame, it remained in the twenties most of the way to the finish.

The Terps return home Thursday to host Michigan State, who’s closer to the top of the conference than the bottom. Maryland’s next three games will all be at home, and it won’t be back on the road until Jan. 25.

Three things to know

1. Maryland had no problems here. The Terps were tested in their last road outing against Penn State, finding themselves tied in the final minutes. There was no drama Sunday against a Wisconsin team still winless in the Big Ten. Road wins always bring an added difficulty, but Maryland played well enough to overcome that with ease.

2. Kristen Confroy did a little of everything. The senior guard remained a constant threat from long range, sinking 4 of 9 threes to finish with 12 points. Confroy also had seven rebounds, two assists and three steals on the afternoon. She played 29 minutes, which was the most on the squad.

3. Eleanna Christinaki had her best game since her first game. The junior transfer from Florida poured in 32 points in her Maryland debut against Coppin State, but hasn’t replicated that success in Big Ten play. She scored three, three and six points in the Terps’ first three conference games, but was back in double figures with 14 on Sunday. She took the scoring lead with some late buckets, and hopes to keep that momentum going into the home stand.