Maryland women’s basketball thoroughly defeats UNC Wilmington

(Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics.)

With 1:40 left in the first half, Angel Reese emphatically blocked Sierra Dacosta’s shot out of bounds and the Maryland women’s basketball bench erupted. 

After the highlight play, Reese stared down Dacosta, resulting in a technical foul and the lone blemish on a career night for Reese who finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and five steals. 

The sequence was emblematic of the Terps’ dominant performance Thursday night, as they improved to 5-0 on the season with a 108-66 win over UNC Wilmington at the Xfinity Center.

“Oh, I knew I was gonna get a tech,” chuckled Reese, a sophomore forward. “I didn’t say give me that, I didn’t say what I usually say but I knew I was gonna get that one.”

The Terps ended the night with five players in double figures, led by Reese with 23 and graduate guard Katie Benzan who added 22 points of her own. Junior forward Mimi Collins also tallied 21 points as the trio headlined a dominant offensive performance that has been the Terps calling card in recent years. The Terps 23 assists also displayed the unselfishness of a team loaded with offensive weapons.

“That positivity is just contagious. When the ball goes down, that’s contagious. It was just a great feeling overall,” Benzan said of the teams camaraderie. 

Head coach Brenda Frese echoed a similar sentiment.

“I just thought our unselfishness, once we started going, we were able to show just kind of how many weapons we have and how versatile we are,” Frese said. 

While their trademark offense was flowing as usual on Thursday, their defense was equally as dominant. The Terps threw a combination of zone, man-to-man and a stifling full court press at the Seahawks forcing 21 turnovers, off which they tallied 30 points. 

Maryland also won the rebound battle by a margin of 16, continuing a theme of dominance Thursday evening. 

“I thought our effort was there tonight. I liked that,” Frese said. “I thought we competed hard. For the 40 minutes.”

With a battle against No. 6 Baylor looming at the Xfinity Center Sunday at 1 p.m, the Terps appear eager for the opportunity. 

“We love the challenge,” said a confident Collins. “We truly do.”

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