Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

No. 8 Maryland women’s basketball beats Minnesota, 87-73

By Jack Parry

Katie Benzan drove and hit the teardrop layup to the chagrin of the team in white. Benzan was one of five Maryland players in double figures for the game, a representation of the offensive clinic that the Terps put on in the contest.

Even though the Golden Gophers put up a fight throughout the first three quarters, Minnesota never once held a lead in the ball game. Fueled by a 23 point performance from Chloe Bibby, Maryland women’s basketball got another conference win, 87-73.

The Terps started off with their full court press after making baskets, which at first disrupted the Golden Gophers as their opponent found a little groove. But the press gave up open shots which they took advantage of, making a couple of open corner threes early in the first, tying the game at 12. 

Angel Reese broke the tie with a fastbreak layup, as an early 5 points and two steals by the sophomore forward showed just why she has racked up multiple Big Ten honors thus far in the season.

As the first quarter rolled along, Diamond Miller began to assert her presence on the court, with two threes which helped extend the Terp lead. Then, coming down the floor, Miller tiptoed through the lane for a brilliant finger roll layup off glass. 

Miller shot a perfect 4-4 in the first period with 10 points of Maryland’s 24. The Terps went on a 12-2 run after being tied to end the quarter, up 24-14. 

The defense for the Terps at the start of the second started making the Golden Gophers uncomfortable in the half court setting, as they started forcing shots. But despite Maryland looking to pull away, Minnesota’s Deja Winters got hot from deep, making four straight threes to prevent the lead from reaching double digits midway through the quarter. 

But no doubt the threes were raining down in Minneapolis in the second quarter, with seven threes dropping in between the two sides. Meanwhile, with the quarter dwindling, Minnesota started to chip away at the Terps’ lead, cutting it all the way to two with Sarah Scalia layup with under two minutes remaining. 

Although Chloe Bibby started to put her head down and drive inside, with a couple of in rhythm finishes including an and one making sure Maryland held on to a 41-36 lead at the half. 

The first half saw some efficient double digit scoring performances for Bibby and Miller, but it was a horror show for Katie Benzan. The graduate senior guard shot a dismal 1-7 from the field, which mostly came from unlucky three point shooting, going 1 for 6 from deep in the half.

The second half looked to be more of the same with both sides trading baskets before Sara Scalia started finding her rhythm. An off-balance floater by Scalia cut the Terrapin lead all the way down to two, forcing a timeout. 

Coming out of the timeout, the two teams began to trade baskets. Maryland got a few layups as the paint remained open for the two forwards Bibby and Reese. While the two main Golden Gophers continued to glisten with Scalia hitting a nice layup and Deja Winters splashing her sixth three to cut it to a one point game at 49-48. 

Although another timeout spurred a Maryland flurry highlighted by Diamond Miller’s steal and transition layup to put their lead back up to nine in the third.

The quarter ended with some promising Minnesota moments with a couple of buckets by Alanna Micheaux. However the last bucket in the quarter came from Ashley Owusu, who made her drive to the basket look like poetry in motion. She patiently waited for the screen before euro stepping to the cup, giving the Terps a seven-point advantage at the end of the third.

The fourth quarter continued efficient performances from Reese and Bibby. With Bibby splashing a three to give her 19 in the game, Reese got a layup plus the foul giving her 15 while shooting 7-7 from the field. 

As the period hit the halfway point, the Maryland lead didn’t seem to budge from around ten points with both sides trading fouls and baskets in the quarter. But Katie Benzan finally hit another shot, as Ashley Owusu found her in the quarter, nailing a three.

But with the game coming to a close, the Golden Gophers seemed to run out of steam, with the lack of execution on offense combined with a double digit lead not giving them much of a chance. Minnesota didn’t score for four straight minutes down the stretch, as the Terps took home the win.

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