No. 4 Maryland women’s basketball (22-8) pulled away in the second half to trounce No. 13 Delaware (24-8), 102-71, and earned a date with No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday in the Round of 32.
“Well, that was Maryland basketball and that was a lot of fun,” head coach Brenda Frese said.
The 102 points were the most points the Terps have scored since their 106-78 win against Penn State on Jan. 6.
The Terps had a balanced scoring attack, spreading the ball around fairly easily. All five starters finished with double figures in scoring.
It was the first time since Feb. 3 that the Terps started and finished a game with all five of their established starters.
“This is the first two weeks that we’ve had everyone back,” Frese said. “You can see the results they add when everyone is getting touches and sharing the basketball, we’re able to show our offensive arsenal.”
Guard Ashley Owusu returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Feb. 3 against Michigan State and balled out, scoring a team high 24 points.
Early in the game, guard Diamond Miller cashed in a deep three-pointer setting the tone and starting off a strong offensive night for the Terps. It was quickly clear that Maryland’s 0-12 mark from range was behind it.
But Delaware did not back down, using two three-pointers from guard Jewel Smalls to keep the Blue Hens deficit hovering around 10 points.
Midway through the second quarter, the Terps fast break offense was on full display. They were comfortably leading, and having fun with every score. In one sequence, Sellers stole the ball and passed the ball behind her back to Miller on a 2-on-1 fastbreak, setting the junior up with a wide open layup.
Miller also had a big game and scored 23 points, complementing Owusu on all three levels of the floor.
Overall, the Terps put on a three-point shooting clinic, shooting 50% from beyond the arc. However, guard Katie Benzan caught fire in the second quarter. Benzan scored four three pointers including a pair on back-to-back possessions.
“Just reading what the defense gave me,” Benzan said. “My teammates found me when I was open and the ball went in.”
Blue Hens star forward Jasmine Dickey also heated up in the second quarter scoring 14 points.
“She’s definitely one of the top players that I have guarded this year,” Miller said. “Her pull up is lethal and you can’t really stop her. We just tried to contain her as best as we could today.”
Dickey kept the Blue Hens in the game scoring the first seven points of the second half for the Blue Hens, but the Terps used a 10-0 scoring run to pull away.
The Terps kept scoring in the second half shooting a commanding 66% from the field. Forward Angel Reese scored 15 points and added nine rebounds.
Dickey finished with 31 points to lead the Blue Hens in scoring her final game for Delaware.
Owusu made a layup with 1:28 left to push the Terps over the century mark for the third time this season, igniting the home crowd.
“Our crowd was a big time X Factor,” Frese said. “I hope they’ll come out again on Sunday because it was electric here.”