Since suffering a loss on the road to Iowa earlier this season, the Maryland Terrapins have grown quite a bit. They are not remotely the same team they were at that time, they showed that to the Hawkeyes and all those watching last night as they delivered a statement to the Big Ten and possibly the country.
That new defense Maryland is playing this season has evolved tremendously and is at a place where they can change it on the fly midgame now. Taking a cue from Hoosiers, it was shared that Coach Brenda Frese wrote bubble gum on the white board in the locker room.
For those that don’t know or haven’t watched the movie, it means that the defenders need to be close enough to the offensive players to smell said bubble gum. Maryland’s defense met that bar and exceeded it as they forced 27 turnovers en route to a 93-59 win over Iowa.
They forced several shot clock violations and their switching really gave Hawkeye ball handlers fits. From Kaila Charles and Blair Watson, to the bigs in Stephanie Jones and Shakira Austin, Maryland was extremely disruptive. Watson had her second game with at least five steals this season.
Charles eclipsed the 1,900 point plateau for her career in the win, scoring 21 points and pulling down 9 rebounds. It’s even more impressive considering how her role has had to change and her game to some degree to fit into this year’s scheme on the offensive end. Her continued improvement shows in her ability to shoot off the bounce, specifically in the midrange game.
Austin started slow offensively but got going in the third quarter (her quarter in her own words), showing off an improved low post game in the process. Freshman Ashley Owusu recorded her first double-double with 17 points and 10 assists.
This matchup was billed as a heavy weight bout leading up to the game and Maryland ended it like a Tyson fight early in his career.They landed the first punch, and never stopped swinging.
Up next for the Terps, they hit the road to take on Penn State.