- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 21, 2021

COLLEGE PARK — Ashley Owusu scored her 1,000th career point and led all Maryland players with 24 points in the Terrapins’ 79-76 win over Baylor on Sunday. 

Owusu, a junior guard, is the 35th Maryland women’s basketball player to reach the milestone. 

“It means a lot, especially to do it in a game like this with so many fans,” Owusu said. “Just being able to come out and share this great accomplishment with my teammates and our fans means a lot.”

No. 3 Maryland led by 11 with about three minutes remaining, but No. 6 Baylor, led by defending Big 12 Player of the Year NaLyssa Smith (30 points and 15 rebounds), went on an 8-0 run to pull within three. But on their most important offensive possession of the night, Terrapins coach Brenda Frese called sophomore Angel Reese’s number. Reese backed down Smith for an and-one layup to put the Terps up six with 1:08 remaining. 

After Jordan Lewis (29 points) hit a 3-pointer to put Baylor down three, the Bears had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, but Sarah Andrews’ 3 was off the mark. 

“It was a really strong, aggressive play that she wanted to make,” Frese said. “Just phenomenal being able to go through contact. … She made some big plays for us.”

Reese, who was in foul trouble and only played 19 minutes, ended the game with 17 points and nine rebounds. She grabbed five offensive rebounds to lead a Terps team that totaled 14 offensive boards that turned into 17 second-chance points.

If not for Owusu’s 1,000th point and Reese’s clutch basket, it would have been graduate senior Chloe Bibby who was the star of the game. Every time Maryland needed a boost, it was Bibby delivering. 

With Baylor leading in the second quarter, Bibby made three shots — two of which from behind the arc — in the period to give the Terrpins a lead. She later hit a 3 at the end of the third quarter to stymie a Baylor run and put Maryland up nine heading into the fourth. Bibby finished with 16 points. 

“They were timely 3s,” Frese said. “She was able to help us get a little bit of separation. That’s the leadership of her, the toughness. She’s been in these big games and these environments.”

Baylor shot better from the field than Maryland (45.8% to 40%), but the biggest discrepancy on the stat sheet was at the charity stripe. The Bears attempted only five free throws, while the Terps got to the line 18 times, making all but one freebie. 

The victory over Baylor (3-1) opens a challenging three-game stretch against top 10 teams. Maryland, now 6-0, will head to the Bahamas to play in the Baha Mar Hoops tournament against No. 5 N.C. State on Thursday and No. 7 Stanford on Saturday.

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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