Everything was working for No. 17 Maryland women’s basketball (17-6, B1G 9-3) on both ends of the floor. The Terps willed their way past Nebraska (17-5, B1G 6-5), 80-65, giving their seniors a proper, celebratory sendoff.
“I thought we honored our seniors in one of the best performances to date,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “We were ready to play from the tip and we had energy and effort on both ends of the floor.”
After being honored and thanked for their contributions to the program before tipoff, forward Chloe Bibby and guard Katie Benzan enjoyed cheers on the court during the game on their senior day. Bibby scored a game high 23 points including three three pointers, while Benzan scored eight points with two three pointers and recorded four steals and six assists.
“All of them have become my sisters,” Benzan said. “I just can’t thank [Frese] and my teammates for the memories that we have made and … the memories we are going to make.”
Even with Ashley Owusu out, the Terps maintained a steady flow of full court play. They dominated Nebraska on both ends of the floor. The Terps shot 39.1% from the field and forced
19 turnovers and converted those giveaways into 26 points.
For the entire contest, the Terps never trailed, as they opened up to a 22-8 lead and capped it off with five points from forward Mimi Collins and eight points from guard Diamond Miller.
Collins and Miller finished the game with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Terps forced six turnovers in the first quarter with a stifling defense and recorded three steals.
Fueled by the defense, the offense went on an 11-0 run in an over five minute stretch in the second quarter capped off by a Benzan three from the top of the key.
On that run, guard Taisiya Kozlova launched a deep jumper that fell in to score her first and only points of the afternoon. Kozlova played 12 minutes today, her highest total since the game against Stanford when she played 24 minutes. At halftime, the Terps held the Cornhuskers to only 20 points.
“Nebraska is a really good team,” Frese said. “For us to hold them to 20 points in the first half and play the way we did defensively, this is great momentum.”
On her start playing in Owusu’s absence, guard Shyanne Sellers somewhat struggled with foul trouble, exiting the game for the bench early in the second half. Despite the early foul trouble, Sellers finished the game with 11 points including a bucket at the third quarter buzzer to halt a 6-0 Nebraska run.
“Shyanne stepped up and helped us a lot,” forward Angel Reese said.
After a quiet afternoon, Reese heated up in the third scoring four points and collecting five rebounds, as she finished the game with 15 points and 16 rebounds to record her 13th double-double on the season.
Cornhuskers guard Ashley Scoggin had the best game of her career, scoring a career-high 20 points that included six three pointers, another career high.
Nebraska shot 52.6% in the second half, but their 23 point halftime deficit was too much for the Cornhuskers to overcome.
Frese pulled Benzan and Bibby with a minute left in the game to a roaring applause from the crowd as they left the floor on senior day.
“I mean, playing at Xfinity [Center] is awesome,” Bibby said.