Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

No. 4 Maryland women’s basketball coasts to 88-67 win over Villanova

By Brandon Schwartzberg

Midway through the third quarter, Maryland women’s basketball was starting to pull away from Villanova. The Wildcats were struggling on offense, while the Terps were excelling. Katie Benzan found Chloe Bibby on the fastbreak, and Bibby swished a three, scoring her 1,000th career point.

Bibby’s jumpshot was the exclamation point on an excellent night for the Terps, as Maryland controlled the game across the board en route to a comfortable 88-67 win over the Villanova Wildcats.

Both teams came out aggressive on the offensive end from the tip-off, as the first quarter was a high scoring neck-and-neck affair.

At the first timeout of the quarter, with 4:26 left in the quarter, Maryland held a slim 14-13 lead. The strong start from each offense led to the teams shooting a combined 11-15 from the floor, with both squads looking for improved defense following the timeout.

At the end of one quarter of play, Maryland held a slim 21-20 lead, led by 9 first quarter points from Angel Reese. In the opening game against Longwood, Reese led the Terps in points with 21, as she has worked as the focal point for the Maryland offense to start the new campaign.

The Maryland intensity level on defense picked up to start the second quarter, as midway through the quarter, Villanova only connected on one of their ten shot attempts in the quarter.

The Terps stayed strong on the offensive end of the floor, shooting fifty-five percent from the field following six minutes of action in the quarter.

Late in the second quarter, Villanova went on a small run to cut into the Maryland lead. What was as big as a thirteen point lead for the Terps was cut down to a seven point lead with just under three minutes remaining in the quarter.

Maryland head coach Brenda Frese was animated on the sidelines, not at all happy with her squad’s performance as the second quarter went on.

The first half ended on a buzzer-beater shot by Mimi Collins, giving Maryland their largest lead of the first half. 

At the half, Maryland led Villanova 47-33. The Terps outscored the Wildcats 26-13 in the second quarter, giving themselves breathing room for the second half.

Villanova shot the ball very well from outside in the first half, as the Maryland defense took away the paint, forcing the Wildcats to shoot almost as many threes as twos.

The Wildcats shot 50% from three in the first half, versus just 37% from inside the three-point line.

Coming out of the locker room, Maryland looked to extend their lead quickly. 

The Terps allowed two quick jumpers to Brianna Herlihy early in the third quarter, but stepped up their game to another level after that.

Maryland went on to go on a 16-2 run, completely putting the game away with its potent offense. The Terps defense wasn’t too shabby either, as they forced Villanova into a scoring drought spanning over four minutes.

Every aspect of the third quarter was controlled by the Terps, as they outscored the Wildcats 26-12.The Maryland lead grew as big as 31 at one point in the quarter, and at the end of the third, Maryland led 73-45.

With the lead as large as it was, head coach Brenda Frese had the ability to spread out the minutes across her players, not forcing anyone to over-work themselves early in the season.

Angel Reese led the Terps in scoring, as she put up 23 points on the board, and was 10 of 15 from the floor. Reese was one of six players in double-figures for the Terps, as they spread the ball around beautifully on offense.

The win over Villanova improved Maryland to 2-0 on the young season, while the Wildcats dropped to 0-2.

The Terps next outing will be on the road in James Madison on Sunday, before returning to College Park for three home matchups ahead of the Baha Mar Hoops Pink Flamingo Championship in the Bahamas.

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