INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ashley Owusu did a bit of everything for Maryland before taking over the game offensively in the fourth quarter.
Owusu, a sophomore guard and unanimous All-Big Ten selection, delivered team highs of 22 points, nine rebounds and eight assists to lead No. 7 Maryland to an 83-73 victory over Nebraska on Thursday in the quarterfinals of Big Ten women’s basketball tournament.
Owusu sank 10 of 11 free throws, including all seven in the final quarter to help the top-seeded Terrapins pull away. She scored 13 in the fourth quarter.
“Ashley was tremendous,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “She nearly had a triple double. She was a facilitator in the first half and then really understands when the team needs a bucket. Then she did what Ashley does. She wants to make the big play, whether it’s a score or an assist.”
Diamond Miller and Chloe Bibby each had 18 points and Mimi Collins added 17 for the Terrapins (22-2), who have won 11 games in a row.
No. 1 seed Maryland will face the winner of Northwestern-Michigan in the semifinals Friday.
“Mimi and Chloe set the tone for us early,” Frese said. “Ashley and Diamond made clutch plays down the stretch.”
The Terrapins shot 46% from the field compared to 42% for Nebraska.
The No. 8 seed Cornhuskers stayed close by hitting 11 of 26 3-pointers compared to 7 of 22 for the Terrapins.
Frese said her team played better defensively guarding the 3-point line in the second half.
“We had some breakdowns that we needed to clean up,” she said.
Frese was disappointed that Nebraska held a 39-32 edge in rebounds, including a 14-10 edge in offensive rebounds.
Sam Haiby was high for Nebraska with 24 points. Ashley Scoggin added 14 and Isabelle Bourne 13 for the Cornhuskers. Kate Cain led Nebraska with 11 rebounds.
Owusu sank a pull-up jumper to put Maryland ahead for good at 70-68 with 4:49 to play. That started a 7-0 spurt, all by Owusu.
With the Cornhuskers trailing 57-54 after three quarters, Haiby sank consecutive 3-pointers to give Nebraska a 60-57 lead with 8:55 left in the fourth quarter.
Maryland’s largest first-half lead was 36-28 with 1:45 left in the second quarter, but Nebraska cut that lead to 38-34 at halftime.
Owusu was the named Most Outstanding Player in leading Maryland to 2020 Big Ten women’s tournament title.
“I like the tournament,” she said. “Who doesn’t like to be under the spotlight and come out and have fun with their team?”
The game was tight throughout, a contrast to Maryland’s 95-73 rout at Nebraska on Valentine’s Day.
“Coach (Amy Williams) told us to play with no fear and don’t back down,” Haiby said. “I thought we did that.”
Frese said it was good to get a close game because that is what is going happen in the NCAA Tournament.
“Welcome to March,” Frese said. “The game looked and felt a lot different.”
Nebraska: The Cornhuskers showed some promise in the tournament, battling Maryland the entire way and avenging two losses to Minnesota with a 72-61 victory Wednesday in the second round. Haiby, a second team All-Big Ten selection, topped the 1,000-point career mark during the game. She needed 16 points entering the game.
Maryland: The Terrapins are aiming for their seven straight appearance in the Big Ten Tournament championship game. Maryland won from 2015-17, lost in 2018-19 and won in 2020.
Nebraska: Evened its record to 12-12 in perhaps its final game of the season, barring a postseason bid in WNIT.
Maryland: Will face Northwestern in Friday’s semifinals.