Maryland remains unbeaten in Big Ten with blowout win over No. 18 Iowa

Maryland women's basketball

By Bryan Jones

A strong first quarter performance from Kalia Charles helped No. 13 Maryland put away No. 18 Iowa away early to extend the Terps’ win streak to 12 games.

The 80-64 victory over Iowa is also the Terps first win over a ranked opponent after falling to No. 4 South Carolina and No. 1 Connecticut in November. Maryland also improves to 3-0 against Big Ten opponents with the win.

Kalia Charles was getting to the basket at ease as she finished with 24. It was a a bounceback game for the sophomore after she finished with just 11 points against Penn State.

“You are going to have a bad game, it’s basketball, so with my teammates encouraging me I just put it in the past,” Charles said.

First quarters had been an issue for the Terps and it looked like it was going to be a shootout as Iowa hit its first two three-pointers of the game. Head coach Brenda Frese quickly went to a half-court press and completely changed the pace of the game.

“We made some really silly passes breaking the press,” said Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder, “Passes we don’t practice.”

Iowa had no answer after Maryland increased its pressure. The Hawkeyes committed five turnovers compared to none by the Terps. Iowa finished with 23 turnovers leading to the Hawkeyes taking 17 fewer shots than the Terps.

“We locked in on defense,” said Channise Lewis.

The Terps shot 61 percent including a run of making eight straight shots in the dominant first quarter. Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes had a stretch where they were scoreless for two minutes.

Maryland was able to limit Hawkeye star Megan Gustafson to just 15 points and 11 rebounds, and she was never able to make a huge impact. After the game a frustrated Bluder admitted that sagging off the guards helped limit Gustafson.

“Our post players did a phenomenal job making it difficult for her,” Frese said.

Shooting just 38 percent from the field and 29 percent from three-point range prevented Iowa from making any sort of comeback throughout the game. In the second half, the lowest Iowa could cut the deficit to was nine points.

Maryland will travel to Madison, Wisconsin on Sunday to face the Badgers at 3 p.m.