Maryland women’s basketball (18-2, 14-1) continues to dominate the Big Ten as it picks up its seventh straight win in a road matchup over Purdue (6-13, 3-12), 88-59.
Playing its third game in six days, Maryland was sluggish to start. Despite jumping out to an early 11-2 lead, the Terps offense went cold and became careless with the basketball, a rare occurrence for the top scoring offense in the nation. Purdue went on a 6-0 run in the first and Maryland finished the first quarter up 16-9. (I’m assuming that’s what you mean)
Maryland began to pick it up in the second period by playing with a faster pace and moving the ball. The Terps began to pull away and expanded their lead, heading into halftime with a 18-point advantage.
“I thought our legs looked a little heavy,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “But I thought we could get on the glass a lot more. The rebounding piece for me was a big one, and I thought it was a terrific response.”
Angel Reese made an immediate impact off the bench, knocking down a three as time expired in the first quarter. She finished the first half with seven points and 17 for the game, along with nine boards, to lead all scorers. Reese made her return last game against Iowa after missing 11 weeks with a foot injury.
Reese was the No. 2 freshman in the country heading into the season and averaged 17 points per game before she suffered her injury in early December. Frese had hoped Reese would be a spark off the bench for an already electric offense. She has certainly been that in her two games back.
“It feels really good,” Reese said. “Whatever I have to do to help the team win, I’m willing to do, so I’m just happy to be back.”
The second half was more of the same for the Terps, with strong defense limiting the Boilermakers opportunities. With the game out of reach for Purdue, Frese went to her bench for much of the fourth. All ten active players saw game action and nine players entered the scoring column.
The Terps dominated Purdue on the inside, finishing with 54 points in the paint, good for 61% of Maryland’s total points. Maryland also grabbed 50 rebounds, while the Boilermakers only snatched up 26.
“When you talk about the big picture of where we want to be, to have that inside-outside combination and that depth is huge,” Frese said.
Four other players scored double figures for Maryland, including Faith Masonius who finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and five steals. Masonius has given the Terps productive minutes off the bench, serving as a do-it-all piece for her team.
Next up for the Terps is another road matchup against Northwestern on Sunday.