No. 11 Maryland snaps Nebraska women’s five-game winning streak

LINCOLN — Amy Williams has had enough of this talk about how far her Nebraska team has come this season.

So after Sunday’s 64-57 loss to No. 11 Maryland, the Huskers coach wasn’t interested in charting the progress from last year’s 44-point home beatdown by the Terrapins.

“We’re not happy anymore with that moral victory of being competitive,” she said. “We want to find a way to get over the hump — particularly in front of this incredible crowd that came out to support us on Super Bowl Sunday.”

A crowd of 6,185 at Pinnacle Bank Arena roared with every surge by the Huskers (17-7, 8-3), who pulled within five in the final minute.

But the Terrapins (20-3, 9-1) answered every challenge in ending NU’s five-game winning streak and moving 1½ games ahead of Nebraska and Ohio State in their pursuit of a fourth Big Ten title in four seasons in the league.

Sophomore wing Kaila Charles, the reigning national player of the week, finished with 25 points and 16 rebounds as the Terps outrebounded the Huskers 49-29 and kept most of their key players from finding a rhythm on offense.

Freshman Taylor Kissinger helped keep NU in it with 18 points off the bench on 6 of 10 shooting, including four 3-pointers.

But Nebraska’s top two scorers on the season, point guard Hannah Whitish and forward Maddie Simon, were a combined 3 for 17. Nicea Eliely was 2 for 7, Janay Morton 0 for 4.

“I’ll take Kissinger coming up with a majority of the scoring,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “We were able to hold the five starters, who are all terrific, to make them really have to work.”

Williams said the Terrapins did a nice job running different defenders at Whitish and limiting her opportunities.

Simon struggled through her second straight cold shooting game after going 2 for 10 against Illinois.

“I think if Maddie just calms down and lets the game come to her a little bit, she’s going to be fine,” Williams said. “I love the fact she’s continuing to stay aggressive offensively.”

The Terrapins, who have two talented post players, still had problems with Kate Cain, NU’s 6-foot-5 freshman center. She finished with eight points, nine rebounds and three blocks, breaking a school record with 79 blocks on the season. She helped get both Maryland posts in foul trouble.

But she could have done more. Two early fouls limited her to six first-half minutes, and she finished 4 for 10 from the floor.

“Credit Maryland’s defense for making things difficult. Just nudging her a little bit off-balance,” Williams said. “She can get a lot better about being able to finish even when she’s being bumped a little bit.”

Cain and her teammates made things difficult for Maryland’s offense, too. Aside from Charles and sixth player Brianna Fraser (14 points, 12 in the second half), the Terrapins hit 7 of 32 shots. They finished with 17 turnovers.

A 3-pointer by Kissinger cut their lead to 59-54 with 58 seconds left. The wing from Minden produced her highest point total since injuring a knee in the nonconference season.

“She’s very confident. And I can see why,” Williams said. “She’s got a unique skill set. She can get her shot off very quickly and from deep.”

But after Kissinger’s last 3, the Terrapins held on by hitting 3 of 6 free throws, eating clock with an offensive rebound and harassing point guard Bria Stallworth into a rushed shot on a drive.

It was the Terrapins’ seventh straight win over the Huskers, but the first that ended within single digits.

Frese said she was happy to come away with a win.

“We love the atmosphere here. The fans are tremendous,” she said. “It’s such a fun environment. They’re so passionate when we come in.

“And I can’t say enough about what Amy has done with their team and program. They’re a lot like us — they share the basketball. You can tell their chemistry is phenomenal this season.”

Maryland (20-3, 9-1)……14 13 20 17—64

At Nebraska (8-3, 17-7)…….10 12 17 18—57

M: Christinaki 3-15 3-6 11, Jones 1-4 0-0 2, Charles 11-16 3-4 25, Confroy 1-5 0-0 3, Lewis 2-6 4-6 9, Ellison 0-2 0-0 0, Fraser 5-10 4-5 14, Myers 0-0 0-0 0, Small 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 23-58 14-23 64.

NU: Simon 1-9 3-4 5, Cain 4-10 0-2 8, Cincore 3-5 1-4 7, Eliely 2-7 0-0 5, Whitish 2-8 2-2 7, Blackburn 0-0 0-0 0, Mitchell 0-0 0-0 0, Washington 1-1 0-0 2, Kissinger 6-10 2-2 18, Morton 0-4 0-0 0, Stallworth 2-5 0-0 5, Wood 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-59 8-14 57.

3-point goals: M 4-12 (Christinaki 2-5, Confroy 1-3, Lewis 1-3, Charles 0-1), NU 7-20 (Kissinger 4-8, Stallworth 1-1, Eliely 1-2, Whitish 1-3, Morton 0-3, Simon 0-3). Rebounds: M 49 (Charles 16), NU 29 (Cain 9). Assists: M 13 (Lewis 6), NU 13 (Whitish 4). Total fouls: M 12, NU 20. Fouled out: None. Technical fouls: None. Att.: 6,185.

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