COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The drought against Maryland continues.
The Nebraska women’s basketball team, which has never beaten the Terrapins, dropped its 12th game in the series Thursday with an 87-69 loss. It’s NU’s 10th loss to Maryland, the league’s most consistent program, since the teams started playing in the Big Ten.
The Terrapins’ defense often gives Nebraska trouble, and Thursday was no exception. Maryland’s trapping, versatile scheme forced 20 turnovers, off which the Terrapins scored 29 points.
“They’re very tough defensively,” coach Amy Williams said on her postgame radio show. “They played hard and aggressive, and we didn’t handle their pressure very well at all.”
Nebraska committed several bad turnovers during Maryland’s decisive 16-2 first-quarter run that turned an early Husker lead into a double-digit deficit.
Nebraska (13-4, 3-3 Big Ten) never regained the lead or got within six points after that.
After trailing 43-34 at halftime, Nebraska clawed its way to 61-55 by the end of the third quarter, but Maryland (13-4, 4-2) used a 9-2 run midway through the fourth to pull away and deliver the Huskers their most lopsided loss of the year.
Nebraska guards Leigha Brown and Nicea Eliely each scored 19 points. For Eliely, it tied a career high.
NU also outrebounded Maryland 37-31 and hit nine 3-pointers. But Nebraska struggled with its half-court offense against the Terrapins’ long, athletic defenders.
“They’re in a position where, personnel-wise, they can switch every single screen, which allows them to be very aggressive and deny you out past where you normally would be,” Williams said.
Maryland, meanwhile, hit 60% of its shots inside the arc, often in the form of relatively uncontested mid-range jumpers. Kaila Charles led all scorers with 23, and Maryland got 34 points from its bench.
Nebraska next plays Sunday at home against Michigan, which beat Wisconsin 68-56 Thursday to improve to 3-3 in league play.