Women’s Basketball: No. 12 Maryland overpowers Northwestern in College Park


Daily file photo by Joshua Hoffman

Northwestern’s coaches give instructions.. The Wildcats’ struggles continued as Maryland dominated them in College Park.

Kyle Leverone, Assistant Sports Editor

A 56-second, 2-0 lead was fleeting for Northwestern: it was quickly erased as Maryland’s Katie Benzan nailed both her first 3-pointer of the game and the coffin shut early in the first quarter.

The Wildcats (11-7, 3-4 Big Ten) fell to the No. 12 Terrapins (13-6, 5-3 Big Ten) Sunday afternoon 87-59. Both teams came in with a two-game Big Ten losing streak, and NU kept the streak going after the game. 

Maryland appears to have it all. According to ESPN’s most recent rankings, they have two of the top 25 players in the country in junior guard Ashley Owusu and sophomore forward Angel Reese. As questionable as it may have seemed leaving senior guard Veronica Burton off of the list, it felt reasonable to have the two Terrapins on it today. Owusu finished with 15 points and Reese finished with nine points and eight rebounds.

However, it wasn’t just those two that contributed to Maryland’s win. Maryland had a total of five players finish in double figures, led by Benzan’s five threes and two additional points. They overwhelmed. Not a single NU player finished with more than nine points. They underwhelmed. 

“When you go on the road in the Big Ten, it gets physical and you’ve got to find ways to score,” coach Joe McKeown said after his team’s loss against Michigan State last week. “So that’s the challenge for us as we move forward.” 

With just a four-point difference between the two teams after the first quarter, the Cats hung around, which is about all most teams hope to do against Maryland. The Terrapins, though, outscored the Cats by a total of 24 in the next two quarters. It was the Terrapin and the Hare, except instead of unassumingly running its race, the Terrapin ran at Hare speed and won in a landslide.

There was some variety on the scoresheet for the Wildcats, with senior forward Courtney Shaw, graduate guard Lauryn Satterwhite and Burton all finishing with nine points. Although this spread-out scoring is typically a harbinger of a productive NU offense, Maryland’s top three scorers out-produced NU’s by 20 points.

Ever since their big win against then-ranked No. 22 Iowa, the Cats have struggled. They are 1-4 with three lopsided losses, one intense defeat and one uncomfortable victory. Sunday’s loss against Maryland extends their Big Ten losing streak to three, and the Cats now fall to 3-4 in the conference, currently placing them in a tie for seventh place.

In Thursday’s well-fought game against Penn State, McKeown used turnovers and rebounding as constant scapegoats in their recent losses. 

“We can’t turn the ball over 18 times,” McKeown said. “We can’t play that way in the Big Ten and expect anything else.”

The Wildcats turned the ball over 16 times against Maryland and were outrebounded by three. They lost by 28.

Now, facing Iowa once again, Northwestern looks to Friday as they attempt to snap their skid.

Email: [email protected]hwestern.edu

Twitter: @KLever0ne15

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