Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
College Park, MD–
Just as Brenda Frese has done in so many games this season for Maryland, she has found ways when teams rally to put them away late in the game, just as she did in an 82-71 victory over Illinois on Senior Night in College Park.
Maryland got out of the gate fast as Senior Abby Meyers used a few hard dribbles to finish a reverse layup and give the Terps an early 4-0 lead. It wasn’t as easy from there for the Terps as Illinois used the outside shooting to take double digit leads multiple times in the first half.
Following a free throw by Illinois guard Jayla Oden, the Fighting Illini skipped a pass to guard Brynn Shoup-Hill to even the game at four.
The Terps struggled to make shots in the opening period, as they went 6-for-15 from the field and were held without a field goal for over three minutes.
“I think we were able to adjust after halftime and forced them into quite a few mistakes and errant shots that we didn’t make happen in the first half, said Frese. “They are a really good team from long range, and I think we saw quite a bit of that, and I had to make some adjustments in the second half.”
With under two minutes until halftime, Illinois’ dual offensive attack continued to cause a myriad of problems for the Terps. Peebles continued her hot start, as her fourth triple of the half gave Illinois a 37-28 lead at the break.
Trailing 39-33 just over a minute into the third quarter, Maryland senior guard Elisa Pinzan secured a defensive rebound before launching a full-court pass to Abby Meyers for a layup. Maryland’s defense scored 17 points off 10 Illinois turnovers, which began to ignite the Terps’ dynamic offense.
And not long after, Miller used a blazing first step and left-handed finish to even the game at 39. The Terps later took a 46-43 lead after Meyers’ layup and free throw converted a three-point play.
With a 56-45 lead in the third quarter, Maryland women’s basketball freshman guard Bri McDaniel applied heavy on-ball pressure to Illinois guard Brynn Shoup-Hill and forced her into a couple of turnovers that in the first half were open three-point shots.
The Terps (21-5) improved their record to 12-3 in Big Ten play with three games remaining in the season.