Sophomore forward Stephanie Jones (24) knocks her defender to the ground as she reaches for the basket (Joel Valley/The Left Bench).

Terps can make statement to Top 25 committee against Michigan state

The Terps have been dominating their competition with the Terps only two losses coming to then No. 4 ranked South Carolina and No . 1 ranked Connecticut, however the Terps still sit outside the top 10. They look to send a message to the Poll committee when the Spartans of Michigan state come to town on Thursday.

 

No. 11 Maryland (15-2, 4-0) has not lost since their crushing defeat to the Huskies in November. The Terps most recently defeated Wisconsin in Madison last sunday 71-44.

 

It was the least amount of points they’ve scored since their last away game at Penn State, but the 27 point defeat brings them to fourth in the country in scoring margin with 26.7 points between them and their opponents. The only teams above them all reside in the top 5 rankings.

 

Although they have struggled on the road their past two games, Maryland has one of the best home courts in the nation with the 11th largest attendance in the country. Maryland also outscored their opponents by 22 more points in the Xfinity Center than on the road.

 

The scoring is a team effort as every player on the Maryland rotation (minus sarah myers and aja ellison) average over 5 points a game, with 7 of them in double figures. Sophomore standout Kaila Charles, who had 12 points last game against wisconsin, is a huge leader for the Terps almost averaging a double double in conference play.

 

While the Terps seem to have a home court advantage of sorts, Michigan state (12-5, 2-2) has not been bad on the road, winning half their games away from East Lansing. However, the Spartans have also played Miami, a team that Maryland has beat, and lost to the Hurricanes.

 

If the Spartans have any chance of knocking of the Terps it would have to come from their forward duo of Jenna Allen and Sidney Cooks, both who are averaging around 10 points and 5 rebounds.  

 

Michigan state is the top rated rebounding team in the big ten with a 10.7 rebounding margin over opponents. But, Maryland is right behind with a 10.3 rebounding margin putting them at second in the big ten.

 

The battle in the post will put a lot on Charles and forward Stephanie Jones who last time, when facing one of the top centers in the country in Iowa’s Megan Gustafson, led the Terps in rebounding and shut down the opposing center to a non-factor in the game.

 

It’s not going to be easy for the Terps in the Xfinity Center, but with a win they can show why they are one of the top teams in the nation and deserve a spot in that top 10.

 

Tipoff is set for 8 P.M. in the Xfinity Center on Thursday.