ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Since joining the Big Ten, Maryland has at least shared the conference championship in six of seven seasons.
This year, the eight-ranked Terrapins look like they have a shot to win their second national title in school history and first since 2006.
Diamond Miller scored eight of her 17 points in the first quarter to help Maryland start strong and Ashley Owusu had 22 points in an 88-63 victory over No. 12 Michigan that clinched a share of the Big Ten title on Thursday.
“What separates this team from all the rest, they’re making it look so easy when it’s really not,” Terrapins coach Brenda Frese said. “And we’re doing it during a pandemic.”
Michigan’s Leigha Brown had 14 points and Akienreh Johnson scored 11.
Maryland: Frese’s 19th team at the school has won nine consecutive games, peaking at the right time. If the Terrapins can win the Big Ten Tournament next week, they will improve their chances of getting a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
When she was coaching at St. John’s, Barnes Arico faced the Terrapins’ national championship team during the NCAA Tournament and said their current squad is equally talented.
“I think they’re pretty special,” she said. “They’re deep. They’re unselfish. They have a great point guard and a great shooter.”
Michigan: Hillmon scored her first points after the Wolverines were already trailing 23-6 and didn’t score again in the opening quarter.
“It was tough to get me touches, but we were trying to get the ball to open people,” Hillmon said. “They were really crowding the paint.”