Maryland’s Mimi Collins has confidence in her teammates’ abilities. She realizes that if Ashley Owusu or Chloe Bibby starts slowly, other Terrapins can pick up the pace.
Such was the case Sunday as the ninth-ranked Terps posted a 79-70 victory against the University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team at the Kohl Center.
Bibby and Diamond Miller scored 17 points apiece to help Maryland (11-1, 7-0 Big Ten) earn its 10th consecutive victory. Collins added 13 points and a career-high 17 rebounds.
Collins said that communicating and picking up energy in the fourth quarter helped Maryland push through.
“We’re still learning a lot and we’re quite young,” Collins said. “We know we can score the ball. That is not a problem for us. I think it’s really just our defense (performing well), and that creates our offense.”
The Terrapins’ only loss this season is an 81-72 setback to then-No. 24 Missouri State on Nov. 28.
Sydney Hilliard scored 19 points and Julie Pospisilova had 18 for the Badgers (3-8, 0-8), who lost their sixth consecutive game. Imani Lewis added 17 points and 14 rebounds.
UW coach Jonathan Tsipis said he liked the way his team competed against one of the best teams in the country.
“We just need to continue to play better,” Tsipis said. “It sounds like pretty simple things. How we’ve competed in practice and how we’ve pushed through physicality is better.”
Owusu added 14 points and Katie Benzan had 12 for Maryland, which outrebounded Wisconsin 44-29.
Maryland has 24 straight Big Ten victories and has won all nine games it has played against UW. The Terps kept those streaks going even though their leading scorer struggled early.
Owusu, who entered the game averaging a team-high 18.7 points per game, shot 1 of 7 from the field and scored five points in the first half.
Maryland coach Brenda Frese said the team’s balance yielded benefits on Sunday. Collins and Bibby played big roles in maintaining strong play.
“When our guard play is off, we’ve got to find other ways (to succeed),” Frese said. “I just thought the two of them really allowed us to stay in this game and ultimately, be able to win it.”