COLLEGE PARK, Md. Maryland’s Katie Benzan constantly yelled defenders before stepping back and firing shots from a three-point range.
On the other side of the court, Iowa’s Caitlin Clark also routinely converted her efforts from outside the arc.
It was a mesmerizing performance from both players, but in the end the eighth-ranked Terrapins had more firepower.
Benzan broke her school record with nine 3-pointers and scored a career-high 29 points to lead Maryland to a 111-93 victory over Iowa in eighth place on Tuesday.
Clark was equally impressive, also making nine shots from outside the arc, one shy of a program record, scoring 29 of her 34 points in the first half. Clark has scored 30 or more points nine times, the highest total in NCAA women’s basketball.
According to research from ESPN Stats & Information, the teams’ 32 combined 3-pointers were the most in Division I women’s basketball this season, setting a Big Ten record in a game between Iowa and Northwestern in 2015.
“Caitlin Clark is the best freshman in the country,” said Maryland coach Brenda Frese. “If you can go against a top 10 program like us – and we’ve done everything we can to stop her – and hit 34 points, says it all. She was a tough match for us.”
The Terrapins’ 68 points in the first half set a Big Ten record.
Diamond Miller had 27 points and Ashley Owusu added 24 points and 12 assists for the Terrapins (17-2, 13-1 Big Ten).
“I’m not only creating a shot for myself but also for my teammates,” said Owusu. “When they collapse at me, people are open. When they fly out, I’m open. I just recognize the defense and take what they can give me.”
The game was originally scheduled for Jan. 21, but Iowa coach Lisa Bluder canceled that trip due to the potential for further civil unrest with the presidential inauguration in nearby Washington.
The matchup featured the highest scoring fouls in the country: Maryland ranks # 1 with 92.4 points per game, followed by Iowa (12-7, 8-7) with 87.9 PPG. The Terrapins had won their previous five games by an average of 35 points, and again they started fast and never looked back.
Miller was 4-for-4 from the 3-point range and Benzan also made all four of her attempts from outside the arc as Maryland led 41-21 at the end of the first quarter. That was a tie for most of the runs the Terrapins have scored in a quarter in program history.
“Today they played a zone that opened the three-point line for all of us,” Benzan said. “The shots just went down. And we play with such a great point guard [Owusu]She just finds the open person every time. “
Maryland controlled the second quarter and a jumper from Owusu put them in a 68-51 lead at the break.
A few free throws from Chloe Bibby gave Maryland an 88-62 lead late in the third quarter, and even Clark couldn’t put Iowa back in the game. Bibby finished with 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
Miller made a lay-up that gave it a 101-82 lead, the fifth time Maryland has scored more than 100 runs this season.
“Scoring 100 is just a testament to playing with five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11 great players,” Benzan said. “We are all threats to court, so it will be difficult to defend ourselves.”
Monika Czinano finished with 17 points and McKenna Warnock added 16 points for Iowa.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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