By: Jack Parry
Ashley Owusu got the ball behind the logo and immediately looked up court, and heaved a pass to a wide open Faith Masonius for the bucket, once again fulfilling her role as Maryland’s main facilitator.
Despite some first half shooting struggles, Maryland women’s basketball turned on the gas in the second half, taking down Purdue at the Xfinity Center, 86-71.
Every starter scored in double figures for the Terps, with Owusu leading the way, scoring 20 points, grabbing 9 rebounds and dishing five assists in the contest.
The no. 8 Terps came into Wednesday’s game carrying a two-game winning streak with their last win coming against Rutgers in New Jersey on Sunday. The Boilermakers, coming off a lopsided loss to 20th ranked Ohio State, entered the game trying to get back in the win column.
Maryland came out of the gates as the better team, showing their prowess on the defensive end, forcing three Purdue turnovers in the first three minutes. One of which, an Ashley Owusu breakaway steal and layup, gave Maryland an early 8 point lead.
Purdue responded, and had an early run of their own.
the Boilermakers were able to make it a one possession game a few minutes later. A bevy of three-pointers, followed by a steal and layup by Abbey Ellis had her squad only down by one in the middle of the first, trailing 13-12.
From there, it turned into a back and forth battle, with about five lead changes in the quarter’s last five minutes. Brooke Moore capped the first off with a three that gave Purdue a 22-21 lead to close out the quarter.
The Terps struggled with perimeter defense early, as Purdue made four out of five from behind the arc to start the game.
Moore came out with another three, this time from the corner, to start the second. Katie Benzan quickly responded with a three of her own, pulling up on the fast break.
Maryland regained the lead again at 26-25, thanks to Owusu, as she drove down the right side and finished off the glass.
Just a few minutes later, Sheyenne Sellers read a pass in the backcourt, swatting it away. She eventually had a clear lane to the hoop, getting the easy finish and putting the Terps up 31-29.
Moore would respond.
She knocked down two in a row toward the end of the quarter, one of them a step back from the left wing, leaving the Boilermakers trailing by 6 with a minute left until halftime.
As the half came to a close, the Terps found themselves down 36-40. Moore wreaked havoc on the offensive end for Purdue, notching 17 of her 22 in the first two quarters.
Maryland came out of the locker room looking to improve on their dismal 35 percent shooting from the field in the first half. Purdue made 64 percent, giving them the lead to restart play.
After Angel Reese tied the game four quick points, Benzan gave her team the lead.
Grabbing a steal on the defensive end, she quickly knocked down another three, putting the Terps back in control.
After a back-and-forth that tied things up at 45, Maryland again regained control. First, Owusu took the lead back with a layup after getting to the paint. Mimi Collins added two more on the next possession, and Masonius returned off the bench and scored four in quick fashion. Sellers hit two free throws to cap a 10-2 run for the Terps.
Following a six-point run to answer the Terps’ scoring, the Boilermakers were thwarted on yet another run with Owusu finishing another driving layup. With a quarter left, Maryland led 59-53.
Purdue cut it to four to start the fourth, but ultimately couldn’t put together enough possessions to come all the way back. Leading by six with just under six minutes remaining, Maryland used a 9-0 run to put them up by 15, effectively putting things just about out of reach.
Maryland dominated late for a statement win over Purdue, moving to 2-0 in conference play. Now on a three game winning streak, the Terps have perhaps their biggest task yet on the horizon, facing no. 1 South Carolina on the road on Sunday.
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