Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
College Park, MD–
In the first real test for Brenda Frese and her 3rd ranked Terps squad today against Baylor, they fought a hard nosed battle and escaped with a 69-60 victory over Baylor.
The top-10 matchup got a little more interesting after Katie Benzan and Faith Masonius were both ruled out prior to the game. Even with the lack of depth, the Terps still found a way to beat one of the best teams in the nation. This win is extremely encouraging for a Maryland program that will travel down to the Bahamas to take on two more top-10 opponents. Meetings with No. 5 NC State and No. 7 Stanford await the Terps, who are now 1-0 against ranked opponents this season.
Without a solid bench the Terps turned heavily to Ashley Owusu and Chloe Bibby, who both logged all 40 minutes of game action today. Owusu finished the game with 24 points on 9 for 24 from the field and Bibby with 16 points.
“I’m just playing my game,” Owusu said. “Just not trying to overthink it or do too much. Just kind of reading what the defense gives me and then taking it from there.”
With eight seconds left to play, Baylor marched down the court, but Sarah Andrews’ shot fell inches short and bounced off the rim for the Bears’ first loss of the season. Despite it being a three-point win, the Terps held the lead for 25 minutes.
For Baylor this is the first ranked loss under new Head Coach Nikki Collen, who comes to Baylor after three seasons in the WNBA at Atlanta.
“Nikki (Collen) knows how to win games and they made a big run in the final minutes,” said Terps Head Coach Brenda Frese. “I just told the girls to remain calm and play their game in the final minute and not worry that they had cut the lead to three points.”
“I can’t tell you how special it was to have our fans here today,” Frese said. “Obviously, they’re our sixth man. It’s been so long since we’ve had just a crowd like that, you see here in Maryland, what we’re able to draw.”