No. 14 Maryland women’s basketball travels to Rutgers for Big Ten opener

Photo courtesy of Maryland athletics

Maryland women’s basketball (3-1) will take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (2-0) in its Big Ten opener after an 11-day layoff. The game will be played Monday at 2 p.m. at the Rutgers Athletic Center.

The Terps enter Tuesday’s matchup with wins coming over Davidson, No. 13 Arkansas and Towson, and the one loss at the hands of No.21 Missouri State. 

Maryland, ranked 14 in the most recent AP poll, will be well rested for this showdown. Last week, Maryland was slated to play Coppin State and Mount St. Marys, but both games were canceled due to positive COVID-19 tests in the opponents programs.

Last time the Terps took the floor, Head coach Brenda Frese’s squad put up monster offensive numbers. Maryland scored over 110 points in the last two games and set a Big Ten record with 21 made threes in its home opener against Towson. 

Sophomore Diamond Miller netted a career-high 28 points against Towson and was named to the Big Ten Player of the Week Honor Roll last week. The Terps have had a balanced scoring attack to start the season, with all five starters averaging double digit points. However, the starting lineup will look different against Rutgers. 

Freshman forward Angel Reese fractured her right foot against Towson and is expected to miss approximately 12 weeks, according to Maryland Athletics. Reese was the No. 2 freshman recruit in the country and a major contributor to start the season. She is the fourth leading scorer on the team, averaging 13.3 points per game and hauling in 7 rebounds per game, tied for the second most on the roster. That kind of production will be tough to replace. 

While the fifth starter has not yet been announced, Frese will no doubt look for a collaborative effort from the bench in the absence of the freshman phenom. The forward tandem of Mimi Collins and Faith Masonius are both expected to have expanded roles and have already shown promise off the bench this season for the Terps. 

“Mimi brings a physical presence and some size in the post that we probably haven’t had in a bit,” Frese said. “All of our posts can stretch the floor and be a threat to shoot the ball.”

Rutgers most recent win came over Wisconsin on Friday. Frese is 9-2 in her career against Rutgers. In last year’s lone meeting, Maryland came away with a 79-50 victory in College Park.

On Friday, Maryland announced an addition to the schedule. James Madison will come to town Saturday Dec. 19 to take on the Terps in a replacement game. Maryland will then close out 2020 with two Big Ten matchups against Ohio State and Penn State.