To close out the third quarter, forward/guard Chloe Bibby launched the ball from behind the arc. The ball rattled around the rim before falling through the net at the buzzer for Maryland’s 14th made three of the afternoon.
Using a barrage of threes, No.12 Maryland women’s basketball (13-6, B1G 5-3) trounced Northwestern (11-7, B1G 3-4) 87-59 to snap their two-game losing streak.
The Terps finished with 18 threes, a season high and their most since hitting 21 against Towson last season — a Big Ten record. The Terps shot a blistering 58.1% from behind the arc.
“I loved our effort and our energy from the start today,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “[We had] 24 assists on 29 made baskets, that’s the way we want to play.
The Terps were on fire from three point range to open the game. Their first four baskets all came from behind the arc.
“In this one we really concentrated on being the first to score,” guard Katie Benzan said.
Maryland did just that and more.
The Terps prolific three point shooting attack torched the Wildcats all afternoon. Benzan got the onslaught started when Bibby found Benzan wide open behind her. Benzan buried the shot.
Benzan, the Terps’ designated sharpshooter, converted 5-7 three point attempts to lead the team with 17 points.
Guard Shyanne Sellers also played a huge role for the Terps in the first half. Sellers entered the game a few minutes in and provided a spark for the Terps.
In the first quarter, Sellers recorded two three pointers and picked up a huge block to open the second quarter, blocking Wildcats guard Veronica Burton’s driving layup attempt. Sellers finished with 14 points and four threes.
“Just giving them energy to fill them back up and letting them know that you’re good, just get the next play really helped my game today,” Sellers said.
The Terps hot three point shooting continued in the second quarter. Northwestern left players open on the three point line, allowing the Terps to cash in. On three separate plays in the second quarter, Northwestern left guard Ashley Owusu, Benzan and guard Diamond Miller wide open and each of them cashed in from deep, helping the Terps build up a 39-23 lead at halftime.
The Terps held Northwestern scoreless for the first 3:30 minutes of the second quarter until Wildcats forward Anna Morris made hookshot. The defense continued to smother Northwestern only allowing nine points in the second quarter.
The Terps defense also limited the Wildcats best player, Burton, throughout the whole game. Burton only scored nine points in the entire game and failed to snag a steal.
“I thought we did a great job making her work,” Frese said.
The defense on Northwestern’s sparkplug, coupled with the established, high-throttle scoring, allowed Maryland to cruise to victory.
The Terps will look to build upon their big win when Rutgers comes to College Park on Thursday.