Maryland (15-2, 11-1 B1G) is starting to click at the perfect time as it heads down the stretch of the season. The Terps will look to continue their strong play as they face Minnesota (7-10, 6-9) at 12 p.m. in College Park.
Maryland is coming off a dominant performance against Illinois, where they won 103-58. The Terps had not scored 100 points in a Big Ten matchup since February of last season. The Terps were terrific on both ends of the floor. They trapped and put pressure on Illinois all game, forcing them to turn the ball over which created opportunities on the other end for Maryland.
While Maryland’s offense has been consistent all year as the top scoring offense in the country, the defense has shown significant improvements in recent weeks
“The ownership is there,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “We get that we can score the basketball, so just understanding that we’ve got to be able to tighten things up on the defensive end. It’s exciting. It’s really, you know, coming together.”
In the rout against Illinois, Katie Benzan led the way with 22 points and six makes from beyond the arc. Owusu ran the show with 17 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Chloe Bibby was dominant inside and finished with 20 points and nine boards.
Earlier in the week, Owusu was named to the Big Ten Player of the Week Honor Roll. This was her fourth selection of the season.
The Gophers and Terps played Jan. 23, where Maryland came away with a 90-73 victory in Minnesota. Frese’s teams have won three straight against the Gophers.
The first time these two teams met this season, Maryland had three players score twenty or more with Diamond Miller scoring 23, Bibby with 22 and Benzan adding 20. For Minnesota, sophomore star Jasmine Powell put up 22 to lead her team.
“This is a team that has a lot of weapons, very versatile inside and out,” Frese said. “[Jasmine Powell] gave us a lot of problems last game, so we’re going to have to have a better defensive effort coming out in this game.”
Maryland will be going for a fifth straight win against Minnesota as it continues to build its resume as March approaches. In an NCAA reveal earlier this week, the Terps were a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament and ranked No. 7 overall.