No. 17 Maryland women’s basketball (13-6, B1G 5-3) hopes to build off of their strong performance on Sunday against Northwestern. A tune-up game against a league-worst Rutgers (7-13 B1G 0-8) team at home might be the mid-season jumpstart the Terps need.
Rutgers has struggled lately, being the only team in the league without a conference win and has lost eight straight games.
The Terps bounced back on Sunday against Northwestern ending their two-game skid with a dominant performance behind the arc scoring 18 threes, a season high mark made possible by their improved ball distribution.
“The biggest thing right now is just getting everyone back on their confidence level and playing their game,” forward/guard Angel Reese said.
In their Big Ten opener, Rutgers and Maryland faced earlier this season in New Jersey. The Terps won, 73-59, with Reese leading the way, scoring 18 points as one of four Terps who finished with more than 10 points.
Scarlet Knights guard Shug Dickerson led her team in points with 18, her season high. Dickerson’s scoring production has regressed in her last three games, but she’s recorded four or more assists in her last four games.
Forward Osh Brown has picked up the scoring slack for the Scarlet Knights scoring double figures in five of the team’s past seven games.
Brown is coming off her best game of the season, after scoring 24 points and corralling 8 rebounds against Ohio State on Sunday. Brown is also a strong defensive rebounder collecting 109 on the season. Rebounding happens to be one of the few positive hallmarks of this Rutgers squad and an element of the game Frese hopes to have under control on Thursday.
“We are going to have to do our job on both ends of the floor as well as keeping them off the glass,” head coach Brenda Frese said.
Currently, Maryland sits in fifth place in the Big Ten standings and have reached the halfway point and a lighter part of their schedule beginning with the game against Northwestern. Over the Terps next five games they will only face teams behind them in the standings.
“I think for us the surprise has probably been the adversity through injuries, COVID, and losing their head coach for a few days,” Frese said. “Adversity reveals your character and I think you are going to see that.”
Even as Maryland looks to regain the top ten spot they lost as it dropped numerous games against ranked opponents. Even with March approaching and the most jarring setbacks seemingly behind them, the Terps are making the most of their wins as they come.
“I think the team is having so much more fun now,” Reese said.
Fans can watch the game on Thursday on Big Ten Plus at 7 p.m.