Maryland closes out home schedule with convincing win over Wisconsin

With the first half winding down, Wisconsin’s Halle Douglass stood trapped on the perimeter, attempting to break through a strong Terps’ double-team.

The work was to no avail, as Maryland’s Shyanne Sellers anticipated every move – proceeding to snatch the ball right out of Douglass’ grasp. In less than a second, Sellers rocketed a perfectly placed pass up court to Jakia Brown-Turner. With a defender approaching, Brown-Turner made the textbook extra pass to the trailer in Emily Fisher, who caught the ball in stride for an easy transition layup.

The bucket capped a dominant first half and served as a continuing trend throughout for Maryland in its final home game of the regular season, powering the Terps to a convincing 79-63 victory over Wisconsin.

Quick and efficient scores from Brinae Alexander, Jakia Brown-Turner, Faith Masonius, and Bri McDaniel sparked a 12-2 Maryland run to open (71.4 FG% during that span), but it was the Terps defense that impressed early. 

Through the first five minutes alone, Maryland’s dynamic perimeter pressure defensively forced five Wisconsin turnovers – as the Badgers looked uncomfortable and simply out of rhythm, committing constant travels, bad passes, and shot-clock violations. 

“We started to bring pressure and make [Wisconsin] feel uncomfortable,” said Sellers. “I feel like we are original [on defense].”

With the shot clock dark and just seconds remaining in the first quarter, McDaniel stood at the logo – dribbling the ball in place and waiting to take the final shot. In a flash, the breakout sophomore accelerated to the rim, pump-faking a Badgers’ defender out of the play before pivoting back around for a one-legged jumper that splashed through the net. 

After 10 minutes of play, McDaniel – already with 10 points – had single handedly outscored Wisconsin’s entire team total of eight.

“[We] have to set the tone,” stressed McDaniel. “It starts with me, and it just trickles down through all of us. Just having that one person that punches first [can] help everybody work together…”

Up 17-8 heading into the second quarter, the Terps didn’t relent. The triples and jumpers from Alexander, Brown-Turner, Sellers, and Fisher kept raining down, extending the team’s three-point percentage to an impressive 50% and widening the lead to as much as 20 to close out the period. 

Similar to the first quarter, Maryland’s defense did an equally impressive job in the final minutes before halftime. Four more lightning fast second-quarter Terps’ steals brought Wisconsin’s turnover total to 13 at the end of the half (just five away from its average of 18 TOs per game).

But the road team gradually got back on track to open the second half. With an improved and patient shot selection, Wisconsin’s Serah Williams, Natalie Leuzinger, and Brooke Schramek combined for 12 quick third-quarter points in a blistering five and a half minute stretch – reducing the deficit to 11.

Eight of Maryland’s 13 third-quarter points came from Brown-Turner. Even with the graduate student’s contributions scoring-wise, the Badgers continued to chip away, limiting the Terps’ lead to single digits heading into the final stretch.

After a 10-minute period of struggles, Maryland finally poured it back on throughout the fourth quarter. A barrage of timely baskets from Sellers (16 pts, 5 ast.), McDaniel (16 pts, 5 reb.), Brown-Turner (18 pts, 10 reb.), Alexander (9 pts.), and Allie Kubek (11 pts, 5 reb.) sealed the deal in College Park.

“I love home,” said Brown-Turner after her last home game in College Park. “I’m so grateful that I’m able to come back home…It’s just been a fun journey.”

With the win, Maryland’s now won five of its last six games – improving to 17-11 on the season and surging above .500 in Big Ten play with a 9-8 conference record.

The Terps now head to Bloomington, Indiana to take on the No. 14 ranked Hoosiers this Sunday at 3:00 p.m. in the regular season finale for both teams. Then, postseason play begins – with Maryland heading to Minneapolis, Minnesota just days later for the Big Ten Tournament (opponent TBD).

“We understand what’s at stake,” said head coach Brenda Frese. “[We] kept our poise…and [we’re] going to have to have that come March when [we’re] in the postseason.”