With two minutes to go in the game, Taisiya Kozlova banked in a three from the right wing for her first points of the afternoon, getting Maryland to 100 points for the seventh time this season.
That’s the kind of day it was for Maryland women’s basketball, with everything going its way as they cruised to victory, decimating Alabama, 100-64, in a round of 32 matchup to advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2017.
“I thought you saw just a tremendous team win for 40 minutes,” head coach Brenda Frese said.
From the opening tip until the final buzzer, Maryland had complete control, finding whatever shots they wanted and not allowing the Crimson Tide’s guards any room to operate.
It was the Mimi Collins show to start the game, scoring the first nine points for the Terps, including a corner three. From there, the scoring was distributed all over, as the selflessness Frese has raved about all year was on full display. Twelve of the Terps first sixteen field goals were assisted. Maryland finished the game with 22 assists, while Ashley Owusu dished out eight of those.
Alabama sat back in a 2-3 zone to start the game, allowing Maryland to get an abundance of open looks from beyond the arc. As is routine with the highest scoring offense in the country, those shots turned into points, which came early and often for Maryland in the first period. Maryland finished the first quarter with 30 points and led by 21.
In the pregame, Maryland repped warmup shirts that read “All Gas No Brakes.” The Terps certainly kept their foot on the gas throughout the contest, never letting their lead dwindle.
“We’re throwing it all on the table,” Faith Masonius said. “Coach told us before the game ‘empty your tank.’ We’re gonna have to empty the tank every single game and then come out, refill it, go back out and do it again.”
It was a near perfect first half of basketball for Maryland who led 54-25 at the break. The Terps shot 63% from three and 68% from the floor in the first half with eight players entering the scoring column in the second half.
Alabama made a push to start the third period, going on a 6-0 run to cut Maryland’s lead to 22. However, the Terps weathered the tide, delivering a punch right back with a 9-1 run, including a stepback jumper from Owusu that dropped an Alabama defender to the ground.
While the starters got the team out to an early advantage, Maryland’s bench came in and expanded an already insurmountable lead. The Terps bench finished with 46 points, including a career-high 16 points from Masonius. Angel Reese finished the game as the leading scorer for the Terps with 19 points off the bench. Alaysia Styles also chipped in eight points.
“I think every game we come out we make a statement,” Masonius said. “We’re a great team, and whether other people see that or not, we know that in our hearts.”
For the second straight game, the Terps had five players finish in double figures. Maryland dominated in virtually every statistical category in its beatdown of the Crimson Tide. The Terps won the rebounding battle by 13 and had 32 more points in the paint than Alabama. The Terps also had 33 points off of turnovers compared to nine for Alabama.
This is the ninth sweet sixteen appearance for Frese. Maryland will play the winner of the UCLA/Texas matchup taking place later today.
“Incredibly rewarding,” Frese said about advancing to the sweet sixteen. “I think us being able to play gives life to so many people that are following, our supporters that are out there, to be such a joy to watch.”