No. 9 Maryland women’s basketball controls throughout to defeat Minnesota on the road

Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Maryland (10-1, 6-0 B1G) put on another strong offensive showing to defeat Minnesota (2-7, 1-6 B1G), 90-73, on the road. 

Maryland is averaging 94 points per game this season, good for second in the country and first in the Big Ten. While they just missed that mark tonight, Maryland controlled the game throughout and shot 44% from beyond the arc. Guard Katie Benzan led the offensive attack as she finished with 20 points on 60% shooting from three. 

Sophomore guard Diamond Miller led all players in scoring with 23 points to go along with six boards and four assists. Forward Chloe Bibby also added 22 points and nine rebounds. While guard Ashley Owusu did not produce the scoring numbers the team has become accustomed to, she made up for it with her elite playmaking and ability to lead the offense. Owusu finished the game with 11 points, eight assists and five rebounds.

“It speaks volumes to our great talents and the depth that we have,” Head Coach Brenda Frese said. “When we share the basketball, great things are in store for us.”

The Gophers last lead in the game was with just under four minutes to go in the first quarter when Minnesota jumped out to a 13-10 edge. Maryland finished the quarter on an 11-2 run to head to the second period with an eight-point advantage.

Minnesota stayed around in the first half, shooting 50% from long range in the first 20 minutes as it outscored the Terps by one in the second quarter heading to the locker room trailing by just seven. 

After a slow start, the Terps came out of halftime on fire, hitting on 57% of their three-point attempts in the third quarter and extending the lead to 19. After a strong shooting first half, the Gophers did not make a three in the third quarter. 

Not only was the offense on display all night for the Terps, but the second half defense impressed as well. While the Terps gave up 43 points in the first half, they held Minnesota to 30 in the second. 

“I thought the third quarter, obviously, was Maryland basketball, how we know how to play and a terrific response,” Frese said. “But for us, we want to continue to play four quarters.”

Maryland was in and out of presses throughout the game, trapping and speeding up the Gopher guards. Minnesota turned the ball over 16 times and the Terps capitalized, scoring 24 points off of Gopher turnovers. 

For Frese, it was not just a regular Big Ten road game. Frese coached at Minnesota during the 2001-02 season, where she won AP National Coach of the Year before departing for Maryland. One of her star players on that Gophers squad is current Minnesota Head Coach Lindsay Whalen. 

Maryland has now won nine straight and will finish a two-game road trip on Sunday in Wisconsin.