COLLEGE PARK — Angel Reese had a career-high 26 points and 15 rebounds, Ashley Owusu scored 22 and No. 8 Maryland defeated Miami 82-74 on Thursday night.
Reese recorded her fifth double-double of the season as the Terrapins (7-2) extended the nation’s longest home winning streak to 29 games and snapped a two-game slide.
“I was part of our loss the last game, so I feel like I didn’t play my best game and I didn’t contribute everything I could because I was in foul trouble and I feel like I was undisciplined within the team,” Reese said. “Being disciplined tonight, I had only three fouls, which is good for me. I usually have more, but it just being disciplined and learning from that and coming out hungry.”
Maryland took the lead for good with 1:40 remaining when Reese made a layup while getting fouled. She missed the free throw, but Faith Masonius collected the rebound and passed it out to Katie Benzan, who connected on a 3-pointer to make it 77-72.
“That 3 was huge,” coach Brenda Frese said. “It gave us a little bit of breathing room to be able to separate. It was a big play.”
Kelsey Marshall scored 24 points for the Hurricanes (4-3), who have dropped three in a row.
Miami, which had forced at least 20 turnovers in four consecutive games, hassled Maryland into 16 giveaways. But it couldn’t overcome the Terrapins’ considerable size advantage. Maryland outrebounded the Hurricanes 48-22 (including 21 offense rebounds to Miami‘s 15 defensive rebounds) and held a 26-7 advantage in second-chance points.
“Our guards should not lead us in rebounding, but they did,” Miami coach Katie Meier said. “Our bigs were in there, but I thought Maryland was relentless to the offensive glass.”
The strong finish prevented Maryland from suffering its first three-game losing streak since February 2018. The Terps haven’t dropped three consecutive nonconference games since 2002-03, Frese’s first season.
The Terrapins played without Benzan and Masonius because of illnesses last week and lost to top-10 opponents N.C. State and Stanford. Diamond Miller also missed those losses and did not play Thursday. The first team all-Big Ten pick from a year ago sat out her third game in a row and has missed all but two games on the year.
Neither team created meaningful separation until the final minute. Maryland’s 28-21 lead in the middle of the second quarter was the largest for either team before the break, but Miami rallied to forge a 36-36 tie at the half.
Miami: Even in a loss, the Hurricanes had to be pleased to generate some perimeter offense. Miami entered the game shooting 26.9% from 3-point range, but was 9 of 19 (47.4%) from the outside against Maryland. The nine made 3s marked a season high.
Maryland: While the Terrapins still aren’t at full strength, their seven-player rotation was enough to gut out a victory against a persistent Miami team that dropped a two-point decision to likely Big Ten contender Indiana last week.
BRINGING THE FIRE
Maryland committed nine turnovers in the first half and struggled to keep tabs on Miami at the defense end. It led Frese to have a “come-to-Jesus meeting” at halftime after trying to allow her team to sort things out on their own.
“I love the response,” Frese said. “It shouldn’t take your head coach having to fire you up. I’m willing to do it if that’s what’s needed, but it was a terrific response by the players because they could have gone one of two ways. I thought we were getting outworked and outhustled in the first half.”
Miami returns home for a Sunday date with Tulane.
Maryland begins its Big Ten title defense Sunday at Rutgers.
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