COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- On Senior Day, the No. 13 Maryland women's basketball team (23-6, 12-4 B1G) edged Nebraska 77-75 in front of a season-best 10,239 fans at the XFINITY Center. With the win, the Terrapins locked up the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament next weekend in Indianapolis.
Sophomore Kaila Charles led the Terps with her 10th double-double of the season, posting 19 points and 11 rebounds. Her fellow sophomore, Stephanie Jones also scrapped 11 rebounds, her highest total since 12/28/17 vs. Illinois. In the game, the Terrapins outrebounded Nebraska 47-33 and had 21 second chance points.
"I’m just really, really proud of our fight and our perseverance down the stretch and just how connected we were," head coach Brenda Frese said. "This is obviously a special win for us; I know we all wanted to send our seniors out the right way. I just thought our energy as a team was sensational, I thought we got back to really playing overall Maryland basketball – when you talk about being aggressive, defending, rebounding, getting out in transition – that’s who we are."
Maryland started the game strong, going up 13-6 early on a pair of back-to-back threes by Lewis and Confroy. Nebraska would cut the lead to five at the end of one, 22-17 but Maryland would mantain a commanding lead throughout the second quarter and led by eight, 44-36 at halftime.
In the second half, Maryland took an 11 point lead with 2:54 to go in the third quarter off three straight points by senior Ieshia Small but Nebraska would continue to battle back, narrowing the Terrapin lead to five at the end of the third. With 49 seconds left in the game, a Hannah Whitish three pointer gave Nebraska their first lead, 75-74 since the first minute of the game but that was the only time the Huskers would hold the advantage.
On the ensuing possession, Stephanie Jones grabbed a crucial rebound off a miss and drew a foul, knocking down both free throws to regive the Terps the lead. On defense, Jones then blocked Nebraska's go-ahead attempt to preserve the lead. After a Charles free throw and good team defense on the other end, Maryland would end their regular season with a tight win over the Huskers.
Maryland honored seniors Kristen Confroy and Ieshia Small prior to Sunday’s game. In her four years, Confroy has helped the Terps to a record of 120-16, the 2015 Final Four and three Big Ten regular season and tournament titles. Small joined the Terps in the summer of 2015, then redshirted the 2015-16 season. The past two years, she's helped Maryland to a record of 55-9 and the 2017 Big Ten regular season and tournament titles.
Maryland is ranked No. 13 in the Associated Press poll and in the USA Today Coaches poll.
Next, the Terps will open Big Ten Tournament play Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. They will take on either seventh-seeded Indiana (16-13, 9-7) or 10th-seeded Michigan State (17-12, 7-9), who play Thursday night. Friday's game will be streamed online through BTN2Go.com and the BTN2Go app. Fans can watch with the cable login information. Fans outside the U.S. can watch here. For more on the Big Ten Tournament, click here.