No. 5 Maryland beats Indiana 83-72 for 20th straight win
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) With Laurin Mincy leading the way, Maryland took the penultimate step in its historic march through the Big Ten.
Mincy scored a career-high 28 points in her final regular-season home game, and the fifth-ranked Terrapins topped Indiana 83-72 on Thursday night to remain unbeaten in league play.
Maryland needs only to beat No. 25 Northwestern on the road Sunday to become the third Big Ten women's team to finish the regular season undefeated in the conference. The other two: Ohio State in 1984-85 and Purdue in 1998-99.
''It speaks volumes in terms of a consistency factor, when you talk about coming out and being ready to play,'' Terps coach Brenda Frese said. ''But Northwestern is a great team and it's going to be their Senior Day. They're going to be ready to play.''
The only senior on the team, Mincy made half her 14 shots from the floor and went 10-for-12 at the free throw line. She played the entire 40 minutes.
''I had a lot of family and friends and fans here, so I wanted to go with a bang,'' she said.
Malina Howard and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough each scored 16 for the Terrapins (26-2, 17-0), who never trailed.
Maryland has won 20 in a row, one short of the school single-season record set in 1988-89. The longest winning streak in school history is 24, bridging the 2006 NCAA championship season and the start of the following campaign.
Mincy scored 10 of Maryland's first 22 points. The 6-foot guard had 15 by halftime to help stake the Terrapins to a 47-35 lead.
Her 3-pointer with 13:41 left made it 60-44, seemingly assuring Maryland a season-sweep of the rebuilding Hoosiers (14-14, 4-13).
Although Indiana responded with a 14-2 run fueled by deft shooting beyond the arc, two straight layups by Howard blunted the comeback. Mincy surpassed her previous career high of 25 with a long-range jumper that made it 77-64 with 2:39 remaining.
''We cautioned our kids that it's Senior Night, and she's a terrific player,'' Indiana coach Teri Moren said of Mincy.
Karlee McBride led Indiana with 18 points, including 13 in the second half, and Larryn Brooks had 13. The Hoosiers were 9 for 29 from beyond the arc.
Indiana put forth an inspired effort, but was no match for a Big Ten newcomer that's taken the conference by storm.
Asked if Maryland's success caught her by surprise, Moren replied, ''Just a little bit, only because this is such a crazy game and night in, night out they have to play with a special mark on their back. They're going to get everybody's best short. For them to stay undefeated is a makeup of a very special team.''
The Terrapins went 17 for 32 from the floor and sank 10 of 11 free throws before halftime to take control.
Maryland led 14-7 before Brooks scored five points in a 9-3 spurt that got the Hoosiers to 17-16. Minutes later, Howard and Walker-Kimbrough combined for 12 points in a 14-4 run that made it 38-25.
Indiana: Half of Indiana's 58 shots came from beyond the arc, in part because the Hoosiers are so small up front.
''That's us,'' Moren said. ''That's just the makeup when you have the number of guards we have. It's not something I'm crazy about, living and dying by that 3-point shot, but we have to have more of a post presence. We don't have that right now.''
Maryland: Mincy went 4 for 6 from 3-point range and Maryland went 5 for 13 from beyond the arc. But the Terps outscored the Hoosiers 34-20 in the paint.
Indiana: The Hoosiers need seven 3-pointers in the season finale to match the school regular-season record of 223. ... All but five of Indiana's points this season have been scored by freshmen and sophomores. ... Brooks has scored in double figures 20 times this season and in five of the last six games.
Maryland: Mincy's previous career high came against Delaware in December 2011. ... The Terrapins have won 26 straight against Big Ten foes, dating to 2007.
Indiana concludes the regular season at Rutgers on Sunday.
Maryland attempts to go 11-1 on the road at Northwestern on Sunday.