Third quarter surge pushes No. 7 Maryland over Nebraska, 89-63
For much of Thursday night’s game, Nebraska stayed within distance of No. 7 Maryland. Despite 19 turnovers and shooting 39 percent from the field, the Cornhuskers’ 3-point shooting kept them in reach of the Big Ten’s top team.
A 74-second spurt changed everything. After senior forward Brianna Fraser scored a tough basket and drew a foul, Nebraska head coach Amy Williams was assessed a technical foul. Junior forward Stephanie Jones made two free-throws, then a 3-pointer from freshman guard Taylor Mikesell capped a 7-0 run.
The surge was part of a larger 18-2 run to finish the third quarter, as Maryland defeated Nebraska, 89-63.
Junior guard Kaila Charles recorded a team-high 22 points, while Fraser posted 14 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
“I just came in with the mindset of starting with energy on the defensive end,” Fraser said, “and my defense led to my offense.”
Maryland (23-2, 12-2) led 41-34 at the half, even with 11 first-half turnovers by Nebraska (11-14, 6-8). 6-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc made up for the Cornhuskers’ sloppy play.
“There was some confusion coming out of our press and our different matchups,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said. “I thought [Nebraska was] probably a little bit more aggressive off the bounce and we settled for a lot of jumpers. I thought we were much more aggressive with our penetration in the second half.”
Nebraska kept Maryland’s lead under double digits for most of the third quarter before the Terrapins pulled away with their 18-2 run. Maryland outscored Nebraska 28-11 in the third period.
“That’s something that just takes the wind out of your sails,” Williams said. “It just felt like everything was not quite going our way and it’s kind of hard to get that truck stopped.”
The Cornhuskers couldn’t maintain their shooting from deep, finishing the game 7-of-16 on 3-pointers, as Maryland obtained their eighth-straight victory, all by double-digit margins.
“It’s been kind of fun to watch our team grow over these last couple weeks,” Frese said. “It’s the leadership, the accountability, collectively as a whole. You’re starting to be able to see that ownership take place on the court, and I thought it was a game that we set the tone from the tip.”
Maryland heads to the midwest next for a ranked matchup against No. 14 Iowa. Tipoff is set for Sunday at 1 p.m.