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Women’s Basketball Team Wins Fifth Big Ten Title in Six Years

Terps Rout Minnesota, 99-44, in Biggest-Ever Conference Victory; Earn No. 1 Seed in Tournament

By Maryland Athletics Staff

Women's basketball player Kaila Charles

Photos courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Senior Kaila Charles scored 15 points as UMD's women's basketball team defeated Minnesota, 99-44, yesterday to clinch its fifth Big Ten Championship in six years.

The No. 7 Maryland women's basketball team used its largest-ever Big Ten victory, a 99-44 win yesterday over Minnesota, to clinch its fifth Big Ten Championship in six years.

Taylor Mikesell led the Terps with 22 points, making six of eight three pointers to lead the way for Maryland, which has now won 14 straight games. The Terps finish the regular season at 25-4 and 16-2 in the Big Ten.

Maryland will be the No. 1 seed for this weekend's Big Ten Tournament and will face the winner of Purdue and Michigan State Friday at noon in the quarterfinals in Indianapolis. 

Women's basketball team poses with Big Ten trophyIn yesterday's regular season finale, freshman Ashley Owusu had 17 points, senior Kaila Charles added 15 points, and senior Stephanie Jones and sophomore Shakira Austin each pitched in 13 for the Terrapins, who shared first place with Northwestern. 

"Just a special win, obviously for our four seniors and our team for how we won it this season," head coach Brenda Frese said. "To have two early losses in the beginning of conference play and go out and put your head down and be resilient and get better ... it starts with the seniors and the accountability in the locker room. I thought this season, for me really ranks up there with how competitive this conference is. For us to play Iowa twice and Northwestern twice and Indiana twice, we do really feel like we've been battle-tested. We're looking forward to the next moment for us in the Big Ten Tournament."

Sara Scalia scored 10 points for the Gophers (15-14, 5-13), who lost their sixth straight game and suffered their most lopsided loss in two seasons under coach Lindsay Whalen. Taiye Bello, one of four seniors playing in their final home game, had seven points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota.

The Terrapins last lost on Jan. 9 at third-place Iowa. Since then, the only opponents to come closer than 18 points were Northwestern (70-61) and Indiana (76-62 and 79-69). The average margin of victory in Maryland's last six games was 37.8 points.

The Terrapins, who are the fifth-highest scoring team in the country, had a 54-16 advantage in points in the paint yesterday, drawing three-point plays at will.

Maryland's defense might be even more dangerous. The Terrapins posted 24 steals and forced 35 turnovers. Gophers freshman point guard Jasmine Powell, who had four 20-plus-point games in February, finished with six points on 2-for-10 shooting and had 10 turnovers. After making their first three shots, the Gophers went 12 for 51 from the floor over the rest of the game.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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