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Nebraska WBB vs Maryland Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals Preview

Can the Huskers upset the conference champs?

Scott Bruhn

Nebraska is back on the early side of the session as they take on the Maryland Terrapins at 10 am today. Maryland is the regular season conference champion and is likely to land a #2 seed in the NCAA women’s tournament. They are ranked #7 in the AP poll. Maryland won 95-73 vs the Huskers in Lincoln earlier this season.

The Big Ten was already a pretty good women’s basketball conference, but the addition of Maryland and Rutgers a few years ago really upped the B1G profile. Have I mentioned lately (yes, I have) that Nebraska has never beaten Maryland in women’s basketball?

Do I think the Huskers have a chance today?

Nebraska has shown spurts of really excellent play. They also have lost to some not-good teams. Of course, they have a chance, but this Maryland team is one of the top offenses in the country and I’m not sure the Huskers have the firepower to keep up - they will have to play their best game of the season on offense and defense to get the upset.

#8 Nebraska Cornhuskers (12-11, 9-10 Big Ten) vs. #1 Maryland Terrapins (21-2, 17-1 Big Ten)
Thursday, March 11, 2021, 10 a.m. (CT)
Bankers Life Fieldhouse - Indianapolis, Indiana
Live TV: FS2 (Mike Hall, Meghan McKeown)
Live Radio: Husker Sports Network (9:45 a.m.) Matt Coatney (PBP), Jeff Griesch (Analyst) Lincoln (B107.3 FM), Omaha (ESPN 590 AM), Huskers.com, Huskers App, TuneIn

Husker Notes

  • Sam Haiby needs seven points to reach the 1000 point mark in her Nebraska career.
  • I don’t expect that Ruby Porter, freshman guard, will be able to play. Porter has stepped into the starting lineup after Bella Cravens injured an ankle. Cravens will likely return to a starting role if Porter’s knee injury is as serious as it appeared (let’s hope it is not).

Scouting Maryland

Coach Brenda Frese brings top-seeded Maryland into the Big Ten Tournament after capturing the conference regular-season title. The No. 7/8 Terrapins are 21-2 overall after going 17-1 in the Big Ten. The Terps have won 10 straight games, beginning with a 92-52 win over Michigan State (Jan. 28).

First-team All-Big Ten sophomores Ashley Owusu (18.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and Diamond Miller (17.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg) lead a Maryland starting five that all averages in double figures.

Graduate transfer Katie Benzan is a lights-out shooter who has connected on 82-of-159 (.516) of her three-point attempts. The three-time first-team All-Ivy League pick at Harvard is a second-team All-Big Ten choice while leading the nation in three-point field goal percentage this season.

Mississippi State transfer Chloe Bibby has contributed 13.0 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. The 6-1 forward/guard from Warracknabeal, Australia has scored in double digits 17 times this season and ranks second among the Terps with 44 threes (.344). She had 16 points and knocked 4-of-7 threes in the first meeting with Nebraska.

Redshirt sophomore Mimi Collins has stepped into the starting lineup to average 10.1 points and a team-best 6.4 rebounds on the season. Collins does not shoot many threes but is 9-for-20 (.450) on the season and is a 75.6 percent free throw shooter.

All five Maryland starters hit at least 75 percent of their free throws, led by Benzan’s 93.5 percent (21-23) success rate and 88.5 percent 54-61) shooting by Bibby.

The 2020-21 version of the Terps bring the highest powered offense in the Big Ten into the tournament, averaging 91.3 points per game. As a team, Maryland is shooting 49 percent from the field including a scorching 41.2 percent from three-point range and 79 percent at the free throw line. UMD also controls the boards (+8.0 rebound margin) and a +3.8 team turnover margin and both those numbers have been on the rise since playing the Huskers on Feb. 14.

Nebraska Cornhuskers (12-11, 9-10 BIG TEN)

No. Player Ht. Yr. Pos. PPG RPG
34 Isabelle Bourne 6-2 So. F 13.9 7.9
31 Kate Cain 6-5 Gr./Sr.C 10.6 6.3
0 Ashley Scoggin 5-7 RSo. G 8.3 2.3
4 Sam Haiby 5-9 Jr. G 17.0 6.8
11 Ruby Porter 5-10 Fr. G 4.7 2.2

Off the Bench
14 Bella Cravens 6-3 Jr. F 6.3 7.2
21 Annika Stewart 6-3 Fr. F 6.2 2.9
10 Whitney Brown 5-8 Fr. G 3.1 1.3
5 MiCole Cayton 5-9 Gr./RJr. G 1.9 0.7
32 Kendall Coley 6-2 Fr. F/G 1.9 1.0
2 Trinity Brady (out) 5-11 So. G 8.5 5.0

Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998) Fifth Season at Nebraska (71-73) 14th Season Overall (264-182)

7/8 Maryland Terrapins (21-2, 17-1 BIG TEN)

No. Player Ht. Yr. Pos. PPG RPG
2 Mimi Collins 6-3 RSo.F 10.1 6.4
55 Chloe Bibby 6-1 Sr. F/G 13.0 6.3
1 Diamond Miller 6-3 So. G 17.5 6.2
11 Katie Benzan 5-6 Sr. G 14.1 2.6
15 Ashley Owusu 6-0 So. G 18.7 5.8

Off the Bench
10 Angel Reese 6-3 Fr. F/G 11.0 6.0
13 Faith Masonius 6-1 So. G/F 6.6 5.2
5 Alaysia Styles 6-3 Gr. F 4.2 2.9
14 Taisiya Kozlova 6-1 Fr. G 2.3 0.9
10 Zoe Young 5-10 RFr.G 1.3 0.3
3 Channise Lewis (out) 5-8 RJr. G 5.1 0.7

Head Coach: Brenda Frese (Arizona, 1993) 19th Season at Maryland (507-130) 22nd Season Overall (564-160)