No. 9 Maryland will look to build off of its strong performance on Tuesday against Nebraska, taking on the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday. Maryland (14-1 3-1 Big Ten) will return home against a talented Wolverine (11-5 2-2 Big Ten) team. Three of the five Wolverine losses this season have come against ranked opponents, however, they also have defeated two ranked opponents.
With great size and length, Maryland has established itself as one of the best rebounding teams in the nation on both ends of the floor. However, rebounding is also a strength for the Wolverines, particularly on the offensive glass. Michigan ranks second in the conference in offensive rebounds, averaging 15.1 per game.
Freshman forward Naz Hillmon is the Wolverines leader on the glass, and freshman forward Shakira Austin will be tasked with limiting her ability to create second chance opportunities. The responsibility will not fall solely on Austin however, as senior forward Brianna Fraser and the guards will need to contribute on the glass as well.
Offensively, the Wolverines have three players averaging in double-figures, generating offensive balance from all over the floor similar to Maryland. Senior center Hallie Thome spearheads the offense, averaging 12.9 points per game. Thome is complemented by the duo of Hillmon and senior guard Nicole Munger. Hillmon is shooting a staggering 70.8 percent from the field while capitalizing on her close opportunities in the paint.
Defensive communication and limiting second chances will be vital for Maryland against the Wolverines talented duo in the paint. On the outside, Munger is one of the best perimeter shooters in the conference. The Terps guards will need to rotate out quickly and contest shots early and often.
The Terps offense continues to be led by junior guard Kaila Charles, who was just named to the John R.Wooden Midseason Top 25 watch list. Charles is averaging 16.9 points per game and has showcased the ability to score in a variety of ways consistently.
Freshman guard Taylor Mikesell continues to improve with each passing game, including a strong performance against Nebraska on Tuesday where she knocked down an important contested three pointer down the stretch. One of the veteran leaders of Maryland, junior forward Stephanie Jones, continues to contribute both offensively and on the glass, scoring in double figures six of the last games.
Maryland and Michigan are scheduled to tip-off at 4:30 p.m from the Xfinity Center on Saturday.
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