Late in the third quarter, guard Ashley Owusu jumped in the passing lane to intercept a pass and go the other way. Owusu took it down the floor before stopping at the top of the key to kick it to fellow guard Katie Benzan on the right wing. Benzan knocked down the three-pointer on the feed from Owusu, one of her nine assists, to go along with her 19 points.
It was all Maryland, all afternoon as the Terps handily defeated Purdue (5-4, 2-3 B1G), 83-46, improving to 9-1 and extending their winning streak to eight games. Head Coach Brenda Frese’s group came out with energy, inserting their dominance from the opening tip and refusing to waver. Maryland led for all 40 minutes in the contest.
While the Terps offense has been the story all season, the defense shined today. Maryland gave up just 46 points to Purdue, the lowest point total Maryland has held an opponent to all season and the Boilermakers lowest point total of the season. The Terps held Purdue to just 24% shooting from the field, the lowest field goal percentage Maryland has held a team to since joining the Big Ten conference.
“We’ve kind of taken it personally when players have had career highs on us and I thought we took it personally defensively today,” Frese said.
Once again, Owusu led the way for the Terps, operating in the pick-and-roll while creating for her teammates, getting to the basket and knocking down pull-up jumpers all game. But Owusu was not the only one creating problems for the Boilermakers.
Maryland put together another balanced scoring attack, with Diamond Miller adding 16 points to go along with eight boards. Benzan chipped in 11 points on 3-6 shooting from beyond the arc and Chloe Bibby also had 11 points while grabbing five rebounds.
Maryland shot the ball poorly from the outside, converting on just 27% of attempts from deep. However, the Terps asserted themselves in the paint and Purdue failed to find an answer for Maryland’s success inside. Maryland won the rebounding battle 51-35 and scored 40 of its 83 points in the paint.
Alaysia Styles, the mid-season graduate transfer from Cal, saw her first extended minutes of action today. Styles had six points and grabbed four boards in 20 minutes on the floor. Styles credited her teammates for welcoming her with open arms.
“The girls and the coaches have not made me feel out of place even in the slightest,” Styles said. “I’m just grateful to be here and grateful to be around good people, people who care and people who care about basketball.”
Maryland will have a few days off before heading on a road trip that kicks off in Minnesota on Thursday. The Terps will look to continue to maintain their status as the team to beat in the Big Ten.