By Lila Bromberg
The 14th-ranked Maryland Terrapins (17-3, 6-1 Big Ten) secured their spot at the top of the Big Ten conference with a 99-69 win over the eighth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (16-4, 5-2 Big Ten) on Monday.
Maryland dominated Ohio State from the tip off with a strong offensive showing led by junior Eleanna Christinaki, who made five of her first seven shots. She also went 3-of-4 behind the arc.
The Terps also suppressed the Buckeyes’ offense early, only allowing two of its 10 ten shots fall.
“We knew that Ohio State has shown that they’re a first quarter team where they really want to punch early and we were prepared for that,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said. “I thought that from the jump we were confident, we were poised and we were ready to make plays.”
Christinaki continued to be a force for Maryland, even having as many points as the entire Ohio State team at one point in the second quarter with 21. The Terps were up 50-35 by the end of the first half.
Maryland continued its romp through the second half, refusing to let up its double digit lead and holding Ohio State to a mere 10 percent behind arc. Ohio State’s prominent three point scorer senior Kelsey Mitchell was only allowed one three pointer.
“We executed the game plan. I thought mixing up our defenses was huge, between the man and the zone, and our team understood the concept of really kind of shadowing Kelsey and a layer of people always constantly being around her,” Frese said.
The Terps shot 58 percent from the floor on the half, with a huge scoring surge from sophomore Kaila Charles. Charles shot 89 percent for 22 points in just the second half, finishingthe game with a season-high 32 points, as well as seven rebounds.
Christinaki finished with 26 points and eight rebounds.
Sophomore Stephanie Jones (14) and junior Brianna Fraser (12) also reached double digit point totals.
The 30-point victory is nothing short of significant for this Maryland team, providing a big indicator for its postseason success as Ohio State was picked to win the conference this season. The win is also the Terps’ first in the past four games against the Buckeyes.
“We had played really well against them in the last couple years but we didn’t have it tonight, they were very good,” Ohio State head coach Kevin McGuff said. “They had an opportunity to turn the tide and they did.”
“I felt like we had 40 minutes of great effort, great energy, great execution and this is a team we need to beat moving forward,” senior Kristen Confroy said.
Next on the Terps’ Big Ten slate is a matchup against Northwestern (9-12, 2-5 Big Ten) in Evanston, Illinois on Thursday at 8 p.m.