No. 12 Maryland women’s basketball looks to rebound following a brutal 20-point loss at home against then-No. 11 Michigan as the Terps take on Ohio State Thursday evening on the road in Columbus.
In the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, Maryland dropped four spots, from No. 8 to No. 12. The Terps’ lone game this past week was against the Wolverines, who dominated in all aspects of the game en route to a 69-49 win.
Maryland played by far its least efficient offensive game of the season as Michigan stifled anything the Terps tried on offense.
One possible reason for the Terps struggles stems off the court, when only a few hours prior to gametime head coach Brenda Frese learned that her father, Bill Frese, passed away after a long battle with cancer.
Frese will not be coaching against Ohio State due to funeral arrangements for her father. Associate head coach Karen Blair will be the acting head coach.
“Brenda is a big presence, she’s the leader of this program. Brenda prepares everybody on her staff to be ready for moments like this. She allows us to coach and be very vocal in practice and have a part in this program. It’s our turn to step up for Brenda,” Blair said.
On the court against Michigan, the Wolverines’ third ranked Big Ten defense was too much for Maryland to handle. The Terps suffered 19 turnovers and shot only 31% from the field. In addition, Maryland scored 3 points in the second quarter, the fewest in a single quarter in program history.
Not a single Terp reached double figures in points for the first time this season. 5 different Terps average at least 10 points per game, so the outing against Michigan can be seen as an outlier for the usual potent offense that Maryland brings on a nightly basis.
“That loss was disappointing and frustrating and we’re hungry for a win. We’re motivated to show and prove to all the haters out there and the doubters that that game wasn’t true Maryland basketball so we’re going to go out there and play to our values. Just play Maryland basketball,” Katie Benzan said.
The Buckeyes come into the matchup with the Terps on a hot streak, winners of four straight. Their offense has been the catalyst of the streak, scoring at least 74 in all four games. Ohio State leads the Big Ten in scoring offense this season, averaging 83 points per game.
Ohio State leads the Big Ten in both 3-point percentage and 3-point field goals made. Maryland will have to do a much better job at containing threes against the Buckeyes than they did against Michigan when they allowed the Wolverines to shoot 50% from deep on 10 three point bombs, 7 of which came from Maddie Nolan.
In their most recent outing against Minnesota, the Buckeyes’ star Jacy Sheldon showed up in a big way. Sheldon stuffed the stat sheet as she scored 32 points, notched 5 rebounds and 7 assists, as well as picked up 3 steals. Sheldon played a season-high 40 minutes as she led the charge against the Wolverines.
Sheldon is one of three Buckeyes averaging in double figures, alongside Taylor Mikesell and Ribeka Mikulasikova.
The game on Thursday will start at 6 p.m. and will take place at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus.