By: Cody Wilcox
The last time Rutgers and Maryland played was on Dec. 31 for a showdown in College Park. Rutgers ended up winning 73-65 due to a 28-point first quarter that was too large for the Terps to conquer.
However, the second matchup on Feb. 10 was completely different as Rutgers didn’t reach 28 points until just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter, and Maryland would go on to win 62-48 for Rutgers’, handing the Scarlet Knights their first home loss of the season.
After the first matchup between Rutgers and Maryland, head coach Brenda Frese said that the Knights were the better team that day. But today, the Terps appeared as the better team as they were able to have an answer for almost everything that head coach C. Vivian Stringer and the Scarlet Knights threw at them.
Following a first quarter that Rutgers only scored four points in, the Knights came out in a full-court pressure package that continued for the remainder of the day as they were down 18-4 and shooting 2-of-12 from the field. Although the Terps had some early lapses against the press, the team was able to break it in sometimes one or two passes for a fast-break bucket.
The Terps finished with 17 fast break points, including eight of them in the third quarter.
As the second quarter began, Rutgers seemed to come alive as they presented the Terps with a totally different team. After the first made basket in the second quarter, Rutgers began to pressure the Terps in order to get back into the game. Their defense seemed to spark their offense as the Knights went 7-of-17 from the field.
However, despite the Knights’ outscoring Maryland in the second quarter, the Terps stayed steady behind their upperclassmen Kaila Charles and Stephanie Jones, who finished the quarter with 11 points and eight points respectively.
Charles finished with 17 points from her aggressive drives while Jones finished with 12 points and was solid on the defensive side of the ball and on the boards, where the Terps maintained a 35-24 advantage.
After limiting Rutgers to 21 points at halftime, the Terps continued their defensive display and limited the Knights to 1-of-5 shooting to start the third quarter. They would end the game shooting 34 percent from the field.
Rutgers guard Arella Guirantes led all scorers with 20 points.
Sunday’s win against Rutgers is the Terps seventh consecutive game that they have beaten their opponents by double-digits.
With this win, Maryland remains at the top of the Big 10 standings with a record of 11-2, and control their own destiny in the pursuit of the Big Ten’s regular-season championship. They will be back in College Park on Feb. 14 when they take on Nebraska at 8 p.m.