Maryland women’s basketball team was able to blow past No. 12 Ohio State 99-69 on Monday thanks to guard Kaila Charles and Eleanna Christinaki, who combined for 58 points.
“It started on one end with Eleanna [Christinaki] who threw the punch offensively to keep us confident,” Terps head coach Brenda Freese said postgame. “And obviously Kaila is Kaila and she continues to do things at such a high level for us and is so aggressive.”
Charles finished with a game-high 32 points (22 points in the first half), seven rebounds and three blocks. Christinaki, a transfer from Florida, had 26 points, eight rebounds and converted six three-pointers. Forward Stephanie Jones had 14 points, while Brianna Fraser chipped in 12 points off the bench.
Maryland’s strong first half where the team outscored Ohio State (16-4, 5-2 Big Ten) 50-35 by halftime was the difference maker.
“We said that we need to start from the first and be very aggressive,” Christinaki said. “Ohio State is a very good team, so we needed to start very good and be confident.”
The Terps (17-3, 6-1 Big Ten) shot an impressive 54 percent from the floor and knocked down 11 three pointers on 18 attempts. Maryland controlled the glass, outrebounding the Buckeyes 47-32.
“By far our most complete game and we were locked in from yesterday’s practice to tonight’s tip off,” Freese said. “We talked all year about how important our chemistry and doing the little things would be and I thought they were on full display tonight.”
Maryland was locked in on defense as the Terps held the Buckeyes to shoot 39 percent from the floor.
“I think we did a good job playing team defense,” Charles said. “We knew it was going to be a collective effort and I think we executed it very well.”
Ohio State’s starting five scored in double figures. Guard Kelsey Mitchell tallied 15 points, seven assists and two steals. The Buckeyes were able to trim the deficit down to 10 points before the Terps went on a 16-6 run late in the third quarter.
Maryland’s next game will be on Thursday against Northwestern on the road. The game is slated for a 8 p.m. tip-off.