With seven minutes left in the third quarter, Rutgers guard Jailyn Mason stole the ball away from forward Chloe Bibby and fed her teammate, Awa Sidibe, for an easy layup.
Sidibe’s basket pushed Rutgers to a surmountable, 36-37, deficit with momentum and head coach Brenda Frese had to burn a timeout.
After the timeout, the Terps garnered a spark of their own and went on a 10-0 run that powered No. 17 Maryland women’s basketball (14-6, B1G 6-3) to a, 72-55, win, extending Rutgers (7-14 B1G 0-9) losing streak to nine games.
“[In the] second half [we] started playing Maryland basketball, moving the ball and being really unselfish,” Frese said.
The Terps held the lead for most of the first half, but Rutgers managed to keep themselves in the game thanks to ten Maryland first half turnovers.
Rutgers went on a 11-6 run over the final 6:30 minutes of the opening half to make it a four point game.
Rutgers held Maryland to 11 second quarter points. And the Scarlet Knights spread the ball around well with four players scoring six points, allowing them to enter halftime down, 30-26.
However, the first half was sloppy for both teams as they combined for 24 turnovers — neither team was able to capitalize on the abundance of giveaways.
The first few minutes in the third quarter were also back and forth — until forward Chloe Bibby caught fire.
Immediately following the timeout in a one point game, Bibby made a driving layup and drew a foul that excited the bench. That basket jump started the Terps, Bibby and the crowd.
Bibby erupted in the second half, scoring 17 points and finished the game with 22 points and seven rebounds on her bobblehead night, an occasion her parents got to see in their visit to Maryland from Australia.
“It was awesome to have my parents here,” Bibby said. “They haven’t seen me play in a while.”
Guard Katie Benzan added two three pointers near the end of the third quarter during the Terps’ vital 10-0 run to increase their once fragile lead back up to thirteen.
As Maryland found its stride, Rutgers turnover troubles continued to plague it in the second half. And the Scarlet Knights turned the ball over 12 more times in the final 20 minutes.
Three other Terps joined Bibby in scoring double figures tonight. Forward Angel Reese recorded her 12th double-double of the season, scoring 14 points and collecting 12 rebounds. Guard Ashley Owusu ended as the games second best scorer with 17 points and Benzan notched 10 points.
“It’s just fun playing with a group of girls like there’s so much talent you don’t get it often,” Reese said.
Next, the Terps will travel to Happy Valley to face Penn State on Sunday at 2 p.m. on Big Ten Plus.