Following a performance the likes of which the XFINITY Center has never seen before, Maryland will hit the road to take on Purdue (6-13, 3-12) in West Lafayette.
It was a record breaking afternoon in the XFINITY Center on Tuesday as the two top offenses in the country clashed. The Terps came away with a resounding 111-93 victory over Iowa.
Maryland is firing on all cylinders with March right around the corner. Against Iowa, Maryland scored 68 points in the first half, the most first half points ever by a Big Ten school in a conference game.
“I love where our team is at right now. They’re jelling, peaking at the right time.” head coach Brenda Frese said. “But we know we still have a lot of great basketball ahead, but a lot of tough basketball ahead.”
The Terps, who had won their previous five games by an average of 35 points, according to Maryland athletics, were led by sharp shooter Katie Benzan. Benzan broke a school record for threes made in a game with nine.
The graduate transfer from Harvard leads the nation in threes per game and three point percentage. The sophomore duo of Diamond Miller and Ashley Owusu also added 27 and 24, respectively.
“That first half was a game like I’ve never seen before,” Frese said.
Not only did the Terps put on a performance to remember, the Tuesday showdown marked the return of Angel Reese, who saw her first game action since Dec. 4 when she fractured her foot. Reese was not expected to return to the lineup until March, but is completely healed, according to Frese.
Reese was the No. 2 freshman in the country entering the season and averaged 17 points and three rebounds per game before she suffered her injury. Reese will provide a spark off the bench and some depth to an already explosive offense.
“It feels great to be back with the team,” Reese said. “We were doing really well before I was here, and now we can be even better. So I’m just happy to be back.”
Maryland now has a quick turnaround going on the road to take on Purdue two days later, but Frese thinks that’s a good thing for her squad.
“We need to have these kinds of games because this is what you’re going to play in the Big Ten tournament as well as the NCAA [Tournament],” Frese said. “Where it’s back to back games, or you play a game, a day in-between and then play a game. So, we need to be built for this.”
Purdue has struggled throughout the season, with just three conference wins. The Terps have won 11 of the last 12 games against the Boilermakers. These two teams met earlier this season on Jan. 10, where the Terps dominated, 83-46.
Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Mackey Arena and the game will be streamed on BTN+.