Defensive dominance and first-half scoring key to Maryland victory

By: Gabe Fernandez

 In the area’s first official snowfall of 2017, No. 3 Maryland plowed through Northwestern 96-65 on Saturday for their third consecutive win of the new year.

Despite almost reaching the century mark in points, Maryland’s high-powered defense was the standout side for them this afternoon. Northwestern head coach Joe McKeown cited this as the cause of his team’s “disappointing” performance.

“They got use offensively to play east-west instead of north-south, especially in the first half,” said McKeown.

The defense came early and often for the Terps as they started off the game by forcing three consecutive turnovers and only allowing one player to score from the field, Christen Inman, who ended the game with 17 points. They also forced the Wildcats to shoot 27% from the field in the first half, only going 1-6 from behind the arc. Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said the defensive lent itself to offensive success.

“Three straight turnovers were really aggressive led to our confidence on the offensive end,” said Frese. “It’s exciting to see our potential when we’re locked in [defensively]. For us, it’s completing the game for 40 minutes and I thought we played a good 20 minutes defensively.”

The remaining 20 Frese referenced was the second half of the game where the Terps allowed double the points they allowed in the first half. Northwestern even shot 69% from the field in the third quarter and were only outscored 27-25.

Thankfully, Maryland’s offensive strengths came out in full force as well. Five Terps scored in double-digits and 11 of 12 who played got points on the board in general. The three ball was certainly more prevalent in this game when compared to their matchup against Nebraska. Terps shot 10-24 from three with Kristen Confroy only getting her buckets from downtown, scoring 12 points on 4-7 shooting.

Other notable standouts include senior center Brionna Jones who scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for her sixth straight, and tenth overall, double-double of the season. As a team, Maryland out-rebounded Northwestern 47-30 which led to 26 2nd-chance points for the Terps while the Wildcats only had six.

Ieshia Small was also a key offensive asset off the bench, scoring 14 points off of 5-7 shooting and freshman sensation Destiny Slocum scored 16 points, grabbed five rebounds and snatched a pair of ankles for the highlight of the game.

(Courtesy of Maryland Women’s Basketball)

Maryland now moves to 15-1 overall and 3-0 in conference play. They look to continue their winning ways on Wednesday against Penn State at home.

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