Constructing a Program
For the second consecutive contest, Minnesota faces a team which leans heavily on its starting five. True, Ashley Owusu, Diamond Miller, Katie Benzan, Mimi Collins and Chloe Bibby don’t approach 40 minutes a game; but, they average around 30 or more minutes and provide virtually all the Terrapin’s offense. And, as usual, the Terps, leading the nation with nearly 92 points per game, have a lot of offense. The most interesting thing about Maryland’s bench is Angel Reese’s animated cheering. Reese, sidelined but no longer in a boot, helps The Terp subs create their own game time atmosphere.
The 90-73 defeat of Minnesota on January 14 was one of six B1G games where the Terps (11-1) have scored at least 90 points. Following the Gopher victory, Maryland defeated Wisconsin by 9, Michigan State by 40, Wisconsin by 38, Nebraska by 22 and Illinois by 45.
Today’s 103-58 win over the Illini was quick. The Terp defense forced Illinois into six turnovers before they attempted a shot. Maryland led 54-33 at the half. Katie Benzan scored 22 points and was 6-12 from three. Benzan had 19 points in the first half. Chloe Bibby contributed 20 points and 9 rebounds. They get a little extra rest before facing Minnesota.
It hasn’t been all positive news out of College Park. Right before the first Gopher match-up, Maryland learned guard Channise Lewis was out for the season with an ACL. Then, after defeating Wisconsin, they lost to Ohio State 86-88. Leading early in the fourth quarter 67-62, Maryland was in position to defeat the Buckeyes; but the Terps went unusually cold from the field (8-24). A 69-69 game evolved into a 83-72 Buckeye lead with 1:47 remaining. A late Terp run wasn’t enough.
Nevertheless, Maryland quickly got back on track and clearly remains the best team in the B1G. And It’s still assumed that Angel Reese will relinquish her pump up the volume role and return to the court to provide a late season boost. For now, the starting five is carrying the load:
Guard Ashley Owusu plays down hill both in scoring and dishing dimes.
Guard Diamond Miller is 6’3” and a tough one-on-one matchup
Guard Katie Benzan, the Harvard transfer, is death from behind the arc. 43-87 (.494)
Forward Mimi Collins, the Tennesee transfer, has a good mid-range game and is the Terp’s leading rebounder.
Swing player Chloe Bibby, the Aussie, is a three point threat with a cool back-over-the-head shot.
A first half shootout turned into a second half blowout. At the half Maryland led 50-43 before turning a 26-14 third quarter run into a 90-73 win. With 6:41 remaining in the game, Maryland opened a 27 point lead (88-61) and then coasted to the finish.
Katie Benzan was a particular problem for Minnesota. In 32 minutes, Benzan took 10 shots. All of them were from behind the arc. She made six. Add 2-2 from the foul line to 18 and you get 20 points for the game. The Terps were led by Diamond Miller with 23 points and Chloe Bibby with 22 and 9 rebounds. It’s not as if Ashley Owusu had an off day. Owusu threw in 11 points along with 8 assists. Maryland took the easy route: they were 11-25 from three and 17-21 from the foul line.
Jasmine Powell had a standout game with 22 points (4-8 from three), 7 rebounds and 8 assists in 36 minutes. Sara Scalia with 14 points and Klarke Sconiers with 13 points and 7 rebounds were the only other Gophers in double figures. The other notable contributor was Katie Borowicz. In four minutes, Borowicz scored 8 points with an assist and a foul. She was 2-2 from behind the arc and 3-4 from the field. She has a way of giving us something to talk about.
Meanwhile, Back in the Day (And 500 Wins Later)
Frese recorded her program-record 500th win Sunday night against Nebraska.dbknews.com
In 2002, Brenda Frese visited the construction site of what would eventually become Xfinity Center. Wearing a hard hat and goggles, the then-Minnesota women’s basketball coach stood alongside then-athletic director Debbie Yow, gazing over to where the student wall would be.
As the pair looked down into the construction pit, Yow painted a picture of what it could be: Dirt would turn into a basketball court, empty space would change into packed seats, a dormant program would become a national power.
I just remember having chills go down my spine,” Frese said. “I really could see the vision, and it was at that point I was like, ‘If they offer me this job, I want it.’”
Nearly two decades later, everything Yow and Frese imagined, along with achievements they couldn’t have even fathomed, have all become true.
In her 19-year tenure, Frese has built Maryland women’s basketball into a powerhouse. The Terps have made 15 NCAA tournaments, eight Sweet Sixteens, six Elite Eights and three Final Fours — and notched one National Championship.
And with Sunday’s victory over Nebraska, Frese added another milestone to her glimmering career: 500 wins, more than anyone else in program history. It’s a place Frese never imagined herself, especially when she first took the job.
B1G Record (11-1)
B1G Wins: @Rutgers 94-72, @Penn State 96-82, Indiana 84-80, Michigan State 93-87, Purdue 83-46, @ Minnesota 90-73, @ Wisconsin 79-70, Michigan State 92-52, Wisconsin 84-48, @ Nebraska 95-53, Illinois 103-58.
B1G Loss: @ Ohio State 86-88
Postponed: Ohio State, Iowa, Rutgers, Michigan
Ashley Owusu’s Last Six Games
Team Pts Reb Asst Min Foul Wisconsin 14 6 5 39 1 Ohio State 33 6 9 40 0 Michigan State 20 1 5 26 3 Wisconsin 17 2 5 28 1 Nebraska 25 7 7 32 2 Illinois 17 6 7 30 1
Diamond Miller’s Last Six Games:
Team Pts Reb Asst Min Foul Wisconsin 17 5 0 29 2 Ohio State 10 5 0 34 1 Michigan State 20 10 2 23 3 Wisconsin 11 5 4 28 1 Nebraska 24 2 2 29 3 Illinois 11 8 7 29 4
Probable Starters (B1G Stats):
HGT POS YR PLAYER MIN AVG REB 6’0” G So Ashley Owusu 33.2 20.4 5.3 6’3” G So Diamond Miller 29.0 16.8 5.9 6’1” G/F Sr Chloe Bibby 32.4 15.8 6.8 6’3” F RSo Mimi Collins 26.4 10.5 7.3 5’6” G Sr Katie Benzan 32.5 13.8 3.0
Bench (Big Stats):
HGT POS YR PLAYER MIN AVG REB 5’10” G RFr Zoe Young 8.0 2.0 5.3 6’1” G/F So Faith Masonius 19.9 5.9 5.3 6’1” G Fr Taisiya Kozlova 10.1 2.0 1.4 6’3” F Sr Alaysia Styles 15.8 3.6 3.1
I'm really excited to see how Sissoko looks after a normal offseason, she keeps getting better and theres still so much more potential in her.Tough road trip got tougher with 2 of the top scorers out. Still clear this team is miles behind the upper echelon teams of the BIG still the youngin’s got a taste of playing a NCAA tourney level team. Sissoko slowly evolving into the star of the team, seems like the game is coming to her. Hope her trajectory continues to rise,
she was more assertive today, she can be special, just needs to play play play ... the game is still to fast for her right now, but that will come.Tough road trip got tougher with 2 of the top scorers out. Still clear this team is miles behind the upper echelon teams of the BIG still the youngin’s got a taste of playing a NCAA tourney level team. Sissoko slowly evolving into the star of the team, seems like the game is coming to her. Hope her trajectory continues to rise,