The No. 9-ranked Maryland women’s basketball team took care of business on Tuesday night, winning on the road against Nebraska, 81-63. The victory gave head coach Brenda Frese 500 in her career.
For the second game in a row, Kaila Charles led the Terrapins’ offense to a victory. The junior had another strong performance, leading the game with 19 points on an efficient 8-of-14 shooting. As the season rolls on, she continues to get better with every passing day.
Stephanie Jones didn’t take many shots on Tuesday, but when she did, the results were impressive. The junior scored 13 points on just seven shots from the field, making five of those field goals as well as all three of her free throws. Taylor Mikesell and Blair Watson each had terrific nights from beyond the arc, both going 4-of-7 on three-pointers to finish with 12 points.
Maryland’s offense was firing on all cylinders all night, putting forth one of its best efforts of the season. The Terrapins shot 51.6 percent from the floor, hitting over half their shots for the first time in over three weeks. Not only were they efficient inside, the Terps hit 10 of their 17 three-pointers, a 58.8 percent clip.
Despite playing a close first half, Maryland never trailed throughout the entirety of the game. The Terrapins scored the first five points of the game in the first minute of action, and they never relinquished the lead. Neither team hit more than two shots in a row in the quarter until Nebraska went on a 6-0 run in less than a minute near the end of the half. But Charles held on to the final shot of the period, hitting a layup to give Maryland a 26-23 lead after the first period.
Both teams failed to hit shots at the same level in the second period, and their shooting percentages dropped substantially. It was another back-and-forth quarter, the longest run being a 6-0 stretch for Maryland with two minutes to go before halftime. Three free throws surrounded Mikesell’s three-pointer, and after a quick four-point burst from the Huskers, Maryland carried a 43-37 lead at the end of the half.
After halftime, things started opening up for Maryland. Holding a 45-43 lead with six minutes to go in the third quarter, the Terps went on an 8-0 run in two minutes thanks to Charles, Jones and Channise Lewis. They then scored eight of the final 12 points, extending their lead to 61-49 heading into the fourth.
Maryland’s strong run of play continued into the final period, dominating Nebraska to get out to a lead of 20 points midway through the quarter. After getting out to a large advantage thanks to runs of five points and 10 points, the Terrapins took their foot of the pedal and opened the door for Nebraska to make the final score a bit more respectful.
After the game, Frese’s team celebrated her milestone accomplishment.
The Terrapins will hope to carry their momentum into a Saturday home game against Michigan on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network.
Three things to know
1. Maryland’s offense was great. After the Terrapins failed to break the 80-point barrier in the last four games, they broke through offensively on the road. Thanks to a 51.6 percent shooting night from the floor, scoring came easy for Maryland. But most importantly was its performance from beyond the arc—the Terps hit 10 of their 17 shots from three-point territory, and that was a huge part of their success.
2. Kaila Charles continues to impress. Charles led the team in scoring by a wide margin last season, so it’s been known what she brings to the table. But one thing that has been improved is her efficiency in scoring. The junior was able to score 19 points on just 14 attempts, hitting eight shots for a .571 percentage.
3. The Terrapins were outrebounded. Thanks to the size of Shakira Austin and Co., Maryland is known for its height, and therefore, its prowess on the glass. And while the final score wouldn’t show it, the Terrapins were outrebounded by the Huskers, 38-37. The biggest discrepancy came on the offensive glass, as Nebraska had 14 offensive rebounds to Maryland’s 10. Fortunately for the Terps, the Huskers had just nine second-chance points.