Maryland women’s basketball junior Kaila Charles has been named the Big Ten Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 18, her first time winning the honor this season and second time in her career.
Maryland played just one game last week, but that’s all Charles needed to make her case for the accolade. Against Minnesota on Thursday, the junior guard broke out for 29 points on 13-of-23 shooting along with eight rebounds (five offensive), three blocks and two steals.
But while her stat line was extremely impressive, two baskets will stand leaps and bounds over the rest. Down two points with 6.6 seconds to go, Charles was able to beat a trio of defenders to the rack to tie the game after having trailed by seven just 50 seconds ago.
And after Shakira Austin tipped the Gophers’ ensuing inbounds pass, Charles secured the loose ball at halfcourt and drove through a mesh of bodies to hit the game-winning basket with just 0.9 seconds to go.
Now in her third season with Maryland, Charles is once again putting together a productive season as the team’s leader on offense. She currently averages 16.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, all while shooting 49.7 percent from the field.
In avoiding a tough home loss to Minnesota, Maryland stayed at No. 8 in the latest AP rankings on Monday afternoon. The Terrapins are one game ahead of No. 12 Iowa, who lost at Indiana later on Thursday night, in the Big Ten standings.