Maryland overwhelmed against No. 1 UConn despite Charles’ gleaming play

Feature photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.

Maryland women's basketball (2-2) found themselves on the other end of a 97-72 lopsided loss against No. 1 Connecticut (3-0) in their seventh head-to-head.

A year ago, the Terps nearly pulled one out over the Huskies in a nail-biting 87-81 loss.

Connecticut pulled off the 25-point victory despite losing their All-American forward Katie Lou Samuelson on Friday due to an ankle injury she suffered on a rebound against California Golden Bears.

Last year, the All-Big Ten Freshman Team player, Kaila Charles, scored 18 points against the Huskies. She topped that this year, scoring 29 points and corralling 12 rebounds. Charles was 13-for-22 from the field, 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.

Despite the loss, Frese was proud of the effort her team put against the best team in the country.

“It’s not a consolation prize, but I’m pleased that with such a young team,” Frese said. “We were able to do some nice things and force 25 turnovers.”

The 6-foot-6 forward Azura Stevens, who transferred from Duke, stood in place of Samuelson Sunday afternoon as she dominated the low-post with 18 points and 12 rebounds against Maryland. Along with Stevens, guard Kia Nurse led the team with 21 points from field shooting 5-of-8 from 3. All five starters for Connecticut scored in the double digits and three of their players: Stevens, forwards Napheesa Collier and Gabby Williams clinched double-doubles.

On a much positive note, the Terps scored 72 points, the most points the Huskies has allowed this season so far. Maryland also forced twenty five turnovers against Connecticut, resulting in 29 points for the Terps.

The first quarter was rough for Maryland as the Huskies had a 32-11 lead. Connecticut started off with a 7-0 run, but the Terps retaliated with a 7-0 run of their own. Soon after, the Huskies returned with a 9-0 run that ballooned into a 19-2 run against Maryland.

UConn--a team that won 111 games prior to the OT loss to Mississippi in 2017 NCAA Tournament-- just knows how to win.

“UConn is a really veteran, experienced team,” Brenda Frese said. “It showed tonight, especially in the first quarter.”

The Terps only allowed the Huskies to gain 14 points in the second quarter. Entering halftime, Connecticut was up 25 points against Maryland with a score of 46-21. The Terps continuously fought as they trailed the Huskies by nine points in the third quarter and outscored them 31-22 in the fourth. Although Maryland became more aggressive and put more points on the board, it wasn’t enough to dig them out of the hole.

The Terps will take on Howard Bisons on Tuesday at the Xfinity Center.