Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

No. 3 Maryland women’s basketball easily dismantles UNC Wilmington, 108-66

By Brandon Schwartzberg

Shortly into the fourth quarter, Maryland pushed the ball in transition. Shyanne Sellers found Katie Benzan on the other side of the court, open for a three. Benzan set her feet, lined up the shot, and swished the basket as the Terps extended their huge lead even further as they neared a 40-point lead.

Everything went right for Maryland women’s basketball Thursday evening, as the Terps dominated from the very beginning. Maryland crushed UNC Wilmington, eclipsing 100 points for the first time this season, winning by a final score of 108-66.

With only a few minutes gone by in the first quarter, junior Diamond Miller checked in for the first time this season, much to the crowd’s delight. Miller played her first game in the 2021-2022 campaign as she missed the prior four games with a knee injury.

Maryland played strong on the defensive end in the first quarter, at one point forcing a scoring drought spanning over four minutes for UNC Wilmington. The Terps also forced six turnovers in the quarter, turning into 10 points for Maryland on the offensive end.

On the offensive side of the ball, Ashley Owusu played aggressively early on. Owusu ended the quarter with seven points, more than any of her teammates. Owusu got to the foul line three times, as she drove with a purpose to find contact and have a chance to score easy points.

At the end of one quarter of play, Maryland led 21-10.

The Terps offense found a second gear in the second quarter, at one point going on a 16-3 run. Maryland shot 60% from the field in the quarter, along with splashing in a few triples.

Maryland’s ferocious defense continued, forcing seven more turnovers, not allowing UNC Wilmington to find any sort of offensive rhythm. The Seahawks finished the quarter shooting only 36% from the field, as their offense was no match from the intensity Maryland brought on defense.

At the end of the first half, Maryland put up a 50-spot, leading 50-22. Angel Reese led the Terps in scoring in the first half, putting up 12 points to go along with 6 rebounds. Reese was in good to shape for her fourth double-double of the season.

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

On defense, the Terps went into a full court press on each inbound, looking to force Seahawk turnovers. The press worked, as with just over two minutes gone by in the quarter, Maryland forced four turnovers, including both 5-second and 10-second violations.

The third quarter was more closely played than the first two, possibly due to Maryland putting their foot off the gas a little. 

Maryland struggled from deep, shooting under 15% in the quarter. Meanwhile, UNC Wimington shot over 60% from the field and 50% from three, improving their offense following halftime.

Late in the third quarter, the Seahawks connected on three straight field goals, much to the displeasure of Maryland head coach Brenda Frese, as Frese angrily called a timeout.

Maryland closed out the third quarter strong, making their final three field goals of the quarter to go into the fourth up 80-45.

With three minutes remaining in the game, Emma Chardon knocked down a mid-range floater, passing the 100 point mark of the game for the Terps.

The Terps offense was on fire in the final quarter, shooting over 60% from the floor and 57% from behind the arc.

Angel Reese was the star of the evening, notching her fourth double-double of the season. Reese put up 23 points and 12 rebounds, turning into a dominant force in the post.

Reese was one of five Terps in double-figures, joining the likes of Collins, Benzan, Owusu, and Sellers.

Benzan knocked down 6 threes in the game, as her shooting from beyond the arc has improved drastically the past two games after struggling to start the season.

The win over UNC Wilmington improved Maryland to 5-0, with a big time matchup on the horizon Sunday afternoon against No. 6 Baylor.

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