Both No.12 Maryland women’s basketball (12-6, B1G 4-3) and Northwestern (11-6, B1G 3-3) will be looking to end their respective two-game skids on Sunday when they face each other.
The Terps have a chance to get back into the win column on Sunday against Northwestern whose best win came against Iowa, which entered the latest AP Poll at No. 25.
Wildcats guard Veronica Burton is the team’s leading scorer at 17.4 points a game and is by far the team’s leader in assists. Burton has dished out 103 total assists — the second most in the Big Ten.
Coupled with their elite playmaker, the Wildcats also have the fourth best defense in the Big Ten. Much of their success can be attributed to freshman forward Caileigh Walsh, a budding star for the Wildcats. She leads the Big Ten in blocked shots with 33 and averages a strong 4.3 steals a game.
Northwestern’s quality defense demands an equally impressive offense to keep up, but the Terps have turned the ball over 30 times throughout their losing streak. Maryland conceded 18 turnovers and 17 turnovers against Ohio State and Michigan, respectively.
“We know we have got to clean up our passing in our half court execution,” said associate coach Karen Blair, who filled in for bereaving head coach Brenda Frese.
Over the Terps two game losing streak, they have also struggled with guarding the three point line. Ohio State shot 57.1% and Michigan shot 50% from behind the arc.
“We got to lock down in that area,” guard Katie Benzan said. “Because we can’t really let players like Maddie Nolan or Taylor Mikesell get off like that.”
Most importantly, the Terps are looking to avoid taking on an early deficit, a crippling occurrence in nearly every Maryland loss.
“We just got to come out ready to play,” forward/guard Chloe Bibby said after Thursday’s loss. “We cleaned up that first quarter and we got a ball game there. We are just trying to get better everyday.
The Terps played better in their loss to Ohio State on Thursday with all their starters scoring in double figures shooting 47.1% from the field and 45% from behind the arc. The team also snagged 15 offensive rebounds — their season average.
Fans can watch Maryland women’s basketball on Sunday at 1 p.m. on Big Ten Plus.