The Maryland women's basketball team opened the Big Ten portion of their schedule with a 79-63 win over Illinois at State Farm Center in Champaign Thursday afternoon. The Terps have yet to lose a Big Ten Conference game since joining the league in 2014, going undefeated in regular season play last year and winning their inaugural B1G Conference tournament.
Sophomore guard Kristen Confroy led Maryland (12-1, 1-0 B1G) with 17 points, while three other Terps scored in double figures. Illinois (7-5, 0-1) was led by Chatrice White, who scored 14 for the Illini.
Maryland jumped out to an early 8-0 to start the game and it appeared things could get out of hand early for Illinois. But the Illini went on a 14-6 run to close out the first quarter with both teaming have 14 apiece. But the Terps weren't shaken and retook the lead by halftime, 39-32.
Maryland built on their seven point halftime lead in the third quarter, outscoring Illinois by nine and entering the 4th quarter with a 61-45 advantage. Illinois played arguably their best basketball in the fourth quarter, as both teams scored 18 points, but Maryland's early dominance was too much for the Illini to overcome.
Three things to know
Maryland continues to dominate the B1G
The Terps were one of the best teams in the ACC when Maryland was still a member of the conference, but they have been the unquestioned leader of the Big Ten since making the move to their new league in 2014. Thursday's win is the 21st-consecutive B1G conference win for the Terps, who have yet to lose a Big Ten contest since joining the league.
Junior center Brionna Jones was dominant inside
Diamond Stone isn't the only center at Maryland to have a monster game in their B1G season debut. Jones finished with 16 points and 19 rebounds. As a team, Illinois had just 26 rebounds while Maryland grabbed 55.
The Terps bounced back and won on the road
After losing their first game of the season against UConn on Monday, Maryland was able to have a short memory and pick up a conference road win in their first Big Ten conference game of the season. Now the question becomes whether the Terps can have a repeat performance of last year as they embark on their second B1G campaign.