Maryland women’s basketball (9-1, 5-0 B1G) will begin a two-game road trip at Minnesota (2-6, 1-5 B1G) on Thursday at 6 p.m. The Terps jumped up three spots moving up to No. 9 in the most recent AP poll released on Tuesday. This is Maryland’s 202nd straight week appearing in the AP poll, the third longest streak in the country.
The Terps went 3-0 last week to earn a top-10 ranking, including two wins over ranked opponents in then No. 23 Michigan State and then No. 20 Indiana. The last time Maryland took the floor, they picked up an astounding 83-46 win over Purdue. The Terps held Purdue’s offense to just 24% shooting from the field, the lowest mark Maryland has held a team since joining the Big Ten in 2014. Maryland is in the midst of an eight-game winning streak and sits atop the Big Ten conference.
After three terrific performances leading the Terps, sophomore guard Ashley Owusu was named the Naismith Trophy National Player of the Week. Owusu averaged 19 points, six assists and six rebounds in those three games. She was also named to the Big Ten Player of the Week Honor Roll for the second consecutive week.
It was announced this week that redshirt junior guard Channise Lewis tore her ACL and meniscus against Michigan State last week, another blow to the Terps backcourt as Angel Reese has also been out with a foot injury.
Minnesota has struggled this season, losing four out of its last five outings and winning only one game in the Big Ten thus far. The Gophers are led by sophomore Jasmine Powell, who is averaging 16.8 points per game. The Terps have dominated their matchups against Minnesota, outlasting the Gophers nine out of the ten times the teams have squared off. The last time these two teams met was last March, where Maryland came away with a 99-44 victory.
“We can control what we can control,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “What we can control is playing Maryland basketball. We’re going on the road and we need to handle business as we have every step of the way.”
Frese will be entering familiar territory in Minneapolis. Frese served as the head coach for Minnesota during the 2001-02 season where she won the AP National Coach of the Year award. The following year, Frese headed to College Park where she began her on-going gig as the face of the program. On the opposing sideline is Minnesota head coach Lindsay Whalen, a former player for Frese.