The No. 10 Maryland women’s basketball team will welcome Wisconsin to Xfinity Center on Thursday night, seeking another dominating conference win.
Thanks to a season-high 25 points and 11 rebounds from junior guard Kaila Charles and a second-quarter surge, the Terps (18-2, 7-2 Big Ten) handled Indiana on Sunday, beating the Hoosiers 76-56 on the road.
With Charles, junior forward Stephanie Jones and freshman guard Taylor Mikesell all coming up with big games, the Terps’ strength on offense proved too much for the Hoosiers to handle.
Mikesell was honored Big Ten Freshman of the Week in recognition of her 13 points and five assists against Indiana that succeeded an even better performance at Ohio State, putting up 14 points and seven assists on the Buckeyes.
The rookie has scored double digits in nearly every game, 19 out of 20, and leads the Big Ten in minutes played and threes made with 61. Mikesell only needs 11 more three-pointers to break the all-time freshman record for Maryland women’s basketball.
Overall, the Terps are leading on both fronts. They are averaging 30 defensive rebounds a game and, on average, outscored their opponents by more than 18 points.
The last time the Terps and Badgers (11-10, 2-7) met, Maryland came storming into Madison and left with a 71-44 win. Maryland is 6-0 all-time against Wisconsin and has not yet surrendered a loss at home in the series.
The momentum may be in Wisconsin’s favor, though, after getting a 70-69 buzzer-beater win over Nebraska on Sunday. The Badgers rallied for a second-half comeback after being down 14 points in the third quarter, and senior guard Kelly Karlis laid the final blow with a three-pointer as time ran out on the clock.
It was only the second three of the game for Wisconsin and the first of the game for Karlis, since it was Nebraska who was dominating throughout the game from behind the arc. The Huskers had seven three-pointers in the first half, allowing them to build a 12-point lead going into the half.
It was a game of runs, and Wisconsin had the final push, going 10-0 in the fourth quarter to tie the game with a minute left. Despite Nebraska taking a narrow lead off a turnover, the Badgers were able to get the last inbound play and seal the win in the final second of the game.
Senior forward Marsha Howard and freshman Imani Lewis led the squad with 18 points and seven rebounds apiece, and Howard tacked on three blocks.
Karlis, who scored the game-winning three, also made her presence known on defense, tying a season-high four steals. Wisconsin’s 13 steals were good for a season-best, and the Badgers forced the Huskers into 18 turnovers.
The Terps and Badgers will tip-off at Xfinity Center on Thursday night at 7 p.m., and the game can be streamed live on BTN Plus.
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