Maryland women's basketball is riding a seven-game win streak, and is currently tied atop the Big Ten with Ohio State at 8-1. A rematch with the Buckeyes looms next Monday, but the No. 5 Terps have two tough games to play before then. The first comes Tuesday evening against Purdue, and the other is Friday's makeup game against No. 17 Michigan State.
Maryland is fresh off another convincing victory Saturday against Indiana. In the third quarter, the Terps stretched a seven-point lead to 31 in roughly eight minutes of play. Junior center Brionna Jones scored her 1,000th career point during that spurt, and she is only 13 rebounds away from reaching 700 for her career.
In their next three games, the Terps will play each of the other top four teams in the conference. The first challenger, Purdue, was actually the last remaining undefeated team in Big Ten play before falling to Ohio State and Nebraska back-to-back. The Boilermakers currently sit fourth in the conference at 7-3, and what they lack in size, they make up for in experience.
Purdue Boilermakers (16-5, 7-3 B1G)
Sharon Versyp is in her 10th season at Purdue and holds a record of 210-113 with the program. She coached for five years at Maine and a single season at Indiana before arriving in West Lafayette.
Players to know
April Wilson, senior, guard, 5'7, No. 25. Nearly everything this team does centers around its point guard and senior leader. Wilson leads the Boilermakers with 15.9 points, 6.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game. She also stays on the court for nearly 36 minutes, on average. It's safe to say the Maryland point guards have a tough assignment in this one.
Bridget Perry, junior, forward, 6'2, No. 13. Perry averages a team-high 6.3 rebounds and also chips in 12.2 points per game. She also gets to the line over 4 times per game and shoots free throws at a 76.7 percent clip.
Ashley Morrissette, junior, guard, 5'9, No. 1. In her second season as a regular starter, Morrissette is tallying 12 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3 assists per game. She's the team's highest-volume three-point shooter, but is only 16-of-57 (28.1 percent) in conference play.
Andreona Keys, sophomore, guard, 5'10, No. 24. A very good rebounding guard, Keys grabs 5.5 boards per game. She's not as much of a scorer as the team's other three core players (just 8.7 points per game), but her defense is solid - since conference play began, she has recorded 20 steals in 10 games, compared to 11 in the team's first 11 contests.
Turnover margin. Purdue's plus-3.62 turnover margin is third in the Big Ten, just behind Northwestern and Ohio State. This is largely a byproduct of having Wilson at point guard. She has 47 steals and just 48 turnovers this season, which is impressive considering how often she controls the ball on offense.
Three-point shooting. This has at least been the case in conference play. Wilson and Morrissette, who combine to account for roughly two-thirds of the team's attempts, were both shooting above 43 percent from beyond the arc in the non-conference slate, but they've gone cold since the calendar turned over. In Big Ten action, they're each shooting a hair over 28 percent. If these trends continue against Maryland, it could be a long night for the Boilermakers.
Maryland wins, 78-65.