After a shaky three-game losing streak in February, many wondered if the Terps would have enough in them to make a run at the Big Ten championship, but they have proven those critics wrong and will face Ohio State for the title at 7:00 pm Sunday night.
The Terps mantra throughout this playoff run has been, “we’re not done yet.” Skeptics wrote them off after their skid, but the Terps have dominated both games so far in the tournament, winning by over 10 points in each contest.
On Friday, the Terps handled the Indiana Hoosiers, 67-54, led by a 24-point performance from sophomore guard Kaila Charles. Charles also led the team in rebounds and assists with seven and five, respectively.
In the semifinals on Saturday, the Terps had much of the same success against Nebraska. Even with Kaila Charles’ shooting struggles, only going 5-for-14 on the day, the bench for the Terps stepped up, as both Brianna Fraser and Iesha Small scored in double figures, combining for almost half of the Terps points.
“Our teammates, they just feed us a lot of energy,” Fraser said.“Even if they aren’t scoring, they feed us the ball.:
In the Nebraska game, junior wing Eleanna Christinaki also showed her rebounding ability for the team, recording a season-high 16 rebounds, as the Terps outrebounded Nebraska by eight.
“The tournament is one game each time, and I have great teammates, and I’m very happy that I’m here with all of them,” Christinaki said.
The Terps will look to duplicate their early-season success against Ohio State in which they defeated the Buckeyes in a Jan. 22 matchup by 30..
In that game, the Terps shut down one of the top scorers in the Big Ten, Kelsey Mitchell, holding her to under 50 percent shooting
The Terps two headed-monster that game, Charles and Christinaki, scored a combined 58 points, over half of Maryland’s points.
The Terps are going to need that scoring flury as Ohio State has been on a scoring tear lately, most recently scoring 90 points in their semifinal game against Minnesota.
“I think as we’ve continued to find a way this year with this team, the success that we’ve had is when we continue to play within ourselves, and so we have to continue to do that on both ends of the floor,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said.
Tipoff is set for Sunday at 7 p.m.
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