The Maryland Terrapins women’s basketball team is in the Big Ten championship game. It is their first ever as a newcomer to the conference. Coming into the semifinal game, the Northwestern Wildcats were led by forward Nia Coffey, who in the last 11 games had seven double-doubles. The Lady Terps changed gears late in the first half to take the lead and never gave it up, defeating the Wildcats 74-63 behind Lexie Brown’s 17 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Northwestern surged forward to go on a 12-0 run with under 11 minutes to go in the first half, taking a 23-12 lead. Maryland, however, went on a 7-2 run closing in on Northwestern’s lead and the Wildcats called a timeout. The score was 25-19 wildcats. Each team added four points to make the score 29-23.
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But then the Lady Terps went on their own run, taking the lead at 30-29 on a baseline runner by Brene Moseley with 1:28 to go until halftime. The Lady Terps at that point had made five of their last six shots. Their 24-8 run to end the half gave Maryland an intermission lead of 36-31.
Coffey led the way in the stat sheet at the half with 18 points and four rebounds on 7-for-12 shooting from the field. Laurin Mincy led the way for the Terps with nine points, four rebounds and three assists.
As the second half commenced, Mincy capped off a 7-2 run by hitting a three-pointer that gave Maryland a 43-33 lead. The Terps really got comfortable and started to run away with the game as they’ve done so many times before, and with 5:50 gone in the second half, thanks to a Lexie Brown steal and break-away bucket, they had a 15-point lead, 50-35.
Northwestern has been known for coming back in big games and with 1:26 to go, they were only down 64-56. But Maryland continued to score well and defend as they solidified their spot in the Big Ten championship game.
Maryland controlled the game from late in the first half on to the final buzzer. They continued to chip away at the Wildcats’ lead, eventually controlling the game because they slowed the game down and played their brand of basketball.
Early in the first half Coffey lit up the Terps with her scoring and her production spread to the rest of the team. Fortunately, for the Terps, their resiliency while behind propelled them to take the game over. Rebounding was a key for Maryland as they out-rebounded the Wildcats 21-8 offensively.
Player of the Game: My player of the game is Lexie Brown with another great performance in the tournament.
X-Factor: My X-factor is Brene Moseley with her 15 points in 21 minutes off the bench.
The Big Ten Championship Game is set:
Game time is Sunday at 7 pm eastern time.