It was senior day for two special players on the Terrapins squad. Ieshia Small and Kristen Confroy failed to disappoint in a thrilling game in which the Terrapins solidified their playoff spot in a win over Nebraska, 77-75.
It had been a back-and-forth game throughout and although Maryland had led for majority of the entire game, Nebraska stayed within reach.
At the 2:45 point of the fourth quarter, a driving layup by Jasmine Cincore put the Cornhuskers within one point, the closest it had been since the beginning of the game.
The star for the Cornhuskers on the day was Hannah Whitish, who with 45 seconds left drained a high-arcing three from the corner to put the Cornhuskers up by one point. Whitish led the Cornhuskers with 14 points.
After a missed shot by Small, sophomore forward Stephanie Jones came up with the rebound and was fouled. Jones drained the two frees to put Maryland up by one.
“At the end, especially being down one, just do whatever you can to give our team the best chance to win,” Jones said on her mentality in the final quarter.
Jones came up huge once again with a block on Cincore to give the Terps the ball with 13 seconds left in the game.
After Charles went 1of-2 from the line, Confroy locked Cincore down on defense, forcing her to give up the ball, which led to a bad shot by Whitish and allowing the Terps to squeak out with a victory.
Offensive rebounding was key for the Terps in this game. They capitalized on a lot of second-chance points in the paint out rebounding the Cornhuskers on the offensive end, 29-24, and scoring 10 more second chance points
Maryland ran out to a first-quarter lead after hitting three 3-point baskets throughout the period. In their game last Thursday at Michigan, Maryland went 0-for-9 from beyond the arc..
The Terrapins went on to hit eight 3-pointers in the game, including two from Confroy. It was the most 3-pointers they had hit since Jan. 16.
“Coach said don’t be sad it’s over be happy it happened and we really carried that put through the game. It was an incredible win to go out on.” Confroy said.
Confroy became the second Terp in history to hit 200 career three’s and third all time in three point field goal percentage.
Small was a floor general out on the court, leading the Terps with three assists and zero turnovers.
“To be able to see in her time, just her mentality of putting her head down and going to work, she has grown tremendously,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said about the senior.
Small came to the Terps in the summer of 2015 and since has been a solid rotational player for the Terrapins and. She had her best year yet for the Terps in her senior year, averaging a career-high 9.4 points per game coming off the bench.
The Terrapins thrilling season finale locked them in the second seed for the Big Ten tournament, due to an Ohio State win over Penn State.The win also put an end to their three-game losing streak, their longest of the season.
“We have to keep putting our head down but we’re excited about going into tournament play,” Frese said.
The Terps will have a five-day break before traveling to Indianapolis to play in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament on March 2.
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