Maryland sophomore guard Kaila Charles (5) tries to get around Mount St. Mary’s freshman guard Daly Sullivan (1) on a drive to the net. (Emily Morina/ The Left Bench)

Terps hope to ring in the new year with first Big Ten road win

 

As 2017 comes to a close, the Terps have a lot of fond memories to look back on. Whether it be taking the No. 2 team in the country to its breaking point, to breaking the school record for assists in a game, they have had a tremendous year so far. But the Terps will hope to add one more memory to that with a win over Penn State.

 

The Terrapins (11-2) are coming off a dominating debut in Big Ten play this past Thursday, with a 35-point win over Illinois in College Park. The Terps outrebounded the Fighting Illini, thanks to double-digit rebounds from sophomore guard Kaila Charles and sophomore forward Stephanie Jones, who had 10 and 11, respectively.

 

The Terps have not only been deadly from inside, but their activeness in the paint has opened up shooters on the perimeter, like sophomore guard Blair Watson and senior guard Kristen Confroy, who rank third and second, respectively, in the Big Ten in three point percentage.

 

“When you look at our options inside and on the perimeter, every game is going to be different in terms of how you stop us,” head coachoach Brenda Frese said after their Dec. 28 win over Illinois. The Terps are not only outshooting their opponents by 9ine percent from beyond the arc, but also post a 10.4 rebounding margin over opponents.

 

The Nittany Lions are coming off two straight losses, including their Big Ten opener at home against Michigan this past Thursday. Sunday they return home for the first time in over a week where they are undefeated this year.

 

On the season, the Nittany Lions have three players averagingdouble figures, led by junior guard Teniya Page, who is averaging 17.4 points per game. In Penn State’s Dec. 28 loss at Michigan, she led the team with 19 points.

 

However, Page only shot 33 percent that night and even with her scoring, the Nittany Lions are only outscoring teams by five, compared to Maryland’s 29.1.

 

The Terp who has been given the task to guard Paige on Sunday is Kaila Charles. Charles leads the team in scoring with 18.8 points and in rebounding, with 8.1 boards per game.

 

“She’s a matchup nightmare when you talk about both ends of the court,” Frese said about Charles.

 

On the defensive end, Charles is second on the team in steals and blocks.

 

“I feel like when we lock in and we bring that energy and effort you see us play our best game.” Charles said about her team after Thursday’s win.

 

Charles hasn’t lost to Penn State in her college career, and neither have the Terrapins since joining the Big Ten. Maryland will look o continue this streak on  Sunday at 2 p.m at the Xfinity Center.