The Terrapins are perpetually a top recruiting program and one that lives in the top 15 for rankings. They have paced Big Ten women’s basketball since joining the conference.
I still had hoped for a bit more life from this Husker team.
However, the fourth game in eight days proved to be a bit much for Nebraska. They’ve looked flat and out of sorts on offense the past two games, but managed to hold on for wins against overmatched opponents. Maryland may have been missing their star point guard, but they had plenty in the tank as Nebraska faltered on the road 80-65 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score says. The Huskers slipped to 17-5 overall and 6-5 in the Big Ten while having their four-game winning streak snapped by the Terrapins, who improved to 17-6 and 9-3 in the conference.
Give the Huskers credit for fighting hard to gain some momentum in the second half and try to get out of the funk. They “won” the third and fourth quarters and turned a 23 point halftime deficit into a 15 point loss. Ashley Scoggin had a career day with 20 points. Issie Bourne was the only other Husker in double figures (11 points) while Alexis Markowski and Alison Weidner scored eight each.
Nebraska finished the game at 38.1 percent (24-63) after hitting just 20 percent of its first-half shots. The Huskers also knocked down 9-of-24 threes (.375), including 6-of-10 in the second half. NU hit 8-of-11 free throws (.727).
Maryland finished at 39.1 percent (27-69) from the field, including 8-of-23 threes (.348), but connected on 18-of-23 free throws (.783). The Terrapins dominated the glass, 47-37, including 20 offensive rebounds that they turned into 18 second-chance points. The Terps also won the turnover battle, 19-15, outscoring NU 26-15 off those turnovers.
A stifling Maryland defense shut down Nebraska’s offense in the first half, holding the Huskers to a season-low 20 first-half points. The game was tied 4-4 after the first two minutes before back-to-back threes by the Terps sparked an 8-0 run. The Huskers trailed 14-8 after an Annika Stewart jumper with five minutes left, before Maryland went on another 8-0 run that included a three-point play by Collins and a three-pointer by Miller pushed the UMD margin to 22-8.
Although Stewart hit a long three with 2:13 left to stop the run, the Huskers were never able to recover to cut the margin to single digits. Maryland took a 26-11 lead to the second quarter after Nebraska went just 4-for-14 from the field and committed six turnovers in the opening 10 minutes.
Nebraska cut the Terp lead to 26-14 with a Scoggin three-pointer to open the scoring in the second quarter, but Maryland scored the next 11 points to push its lead to 38-14 before Scoggin stopped a six-minute scoring drought by the Huskers with another three-pointer with 2:43 left in the half. Scoggin closed the quarter with a pair of free throws with 14 seconds left, but Sam Haiby was the only other Husker to score in the period with a free throw in the final minute.
Maryland took a 43-20 lead to halftime after hitting 14-of-34 shots (.412), including 5-of-13 threes (.385) and 10-of-12 free throws (.833). The Terrapins also won the first-half turnover battle 12-6 and converted NU’s miscues into 19 points. The Huskers managed six points off Maryland’s mistakes in the half. The Terps also out-rebounded, NU 23-20. Bibby led Maryland with 12 first-half points, while Miller added eight and Collins and Reese each contributed seven in the half.
Nebraska hit a just 20.7 percent (6-29) of its first-half shots, including 3-of-14 threes (.214). NU did manage to hit 5-of-6 free throws. Scoggin led NU with eight points in the half, while Stewart added five.
Nebraska continues Big Ten road action against another top-25 foe when the Huskers travel to No. 23 Ohio State on Tuesday. Tip-off between the Big Red and the Buckeyes in Columbus is set for 6 p.m. (CT) with live national television coverage by FS1. Free live audio from the Huskers Radio Network also will be available on Huskers.com.