11 weeks into the season, it still feels like Maryland women’s basketball is still warming up. The Terps have enjoyed several big victories in recent weeks, and are currently riding a seven-game winning streak as the Big Ten season comes to a close. Yet further challenges lie ahead, with the NCAA Tournament looming.
Despite that, the Terps are determined to keep the focus on the next game. For Maryland, it’s an away contest against a dangerous Ohio State team.
“They challenged us here on our home court and we are going to their house. We know it’s not going to be any easier,” said guard Kaila Charles.
Maryland defeated Ohio State 72-62 earlier in the season, but didn’t look composed all the way. The Terps trailed by seven at halftime, and needed a big fourth quarter to pull away from a competitive Buckeyes squad.
“They gave us a run for our money a little bit here,” said guard Blair Watson.
The 2019-20 season hasn’t all been as comfortable. After a jarring 66-61 loss at the hands of unranked Iowa, the Terps needed a wakeup call. Right after, the winning streak started.
“We had a player-led film session, where we laid everything out,” said Charles.
And the results have shown. Rather than relying heavily on all-American Charles, the Terps have spread the scoring, becoming a more cohesive group on the offensive end. That said, the work very much starts with Charles, Watson, and the rest of the senior class — both during practice and in games.
“If we don’t bring it every day, they won’t bring it every day,” said Watson.
Nine conference games remain before the start of the Big Ten Tournament, and Maryland appears to be playing its best basketball at the right time. During the winning streak, Maryland is outscoring its opponents by nearly 13 points-per-game.
“I think our defense is definitely helping us be successful, and it’s definitely leading to our offense,” said Charles. “We are making a conscious effort to having fun and playing for each other.”
At 16-4 overall, The Terps are in third place in the Big Ten, and are a nearly unstoppable 10-1 at home. However, only four of Maryland’s remaining nine games are at home, so road form will be crucial in building its tournament resume.
“I love where we’re at, Coach Brenda Frese said. “We are halfway through the conference race. It’s the most competitive it’s been, since we entered, which is great, it makes us better every single night.”