Charles, Owusu lead No. 9 Maryland women to rout of Belmont
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Ashley Owusu did what every guard loves to do when the transition game is flourishing: She crashed the boards.
The Maryland freshman had career highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds as the ninth-ranked Terrapins routed Belmont 90-26 Saturday to conclude their stay at the Daytona Beach Invitational.
Kaila Charles, last season’s Big Ten Player of the Year, scored a season-high 20 points as Maryland (7-1) won its sixth straight and held a Belmont team that’s been to two consecutive NCAA tournaments to the fewest points for a Terrapins opponent since Wagner scored 24 on Nov. 16, 2014.
Cam Browning led Belmont (3-4) with six points.
Maryland’s vaunted defense forced 28 turnovers, fueling its offense with Owusu leading the charge. The Terrapins scored 39 points off turnovers and went on a 42-0 run that spanned 14 minutes in the second half.
“It all started with the defense,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “Ashley ran the floor great and was so unselfish.”
One day after managing six points in a win over Clemson, Owusu delighted in her first career double-double.
“Coming into the game, I was focused on the rebounding,” Owusu said. “I was just alert in transition. If a defender steps up, I can get the ball to my teammates or I can just get it to the basket.”
Charles was 9 of 14 from the field in 20 minutes of action.
“It was easy points because everyone is sharing the ball,” Charles said. “Makes the game more fun.”
Diamond Miller added 12 points and Stephanie Miller scored 11 as the Terps’ defense set the tone early. Belmont missed its first seven field-goal attempts and was 1 of 15 from the field as Maryland led 12-3 after the first quarter. It was 37-17 at halftime.
Maryland was 11 of 17 from the field in the third quarter and outscored Belmont 28-3. The Bruins’ scoreless drought continued until Browning made a layup with 4:40 remaining.
Ellie Harmeyer, the Bruins’ leading scorer, left the game after taking an elbow to the face midway through the second quarter.
Belmont: The Bruins have lost three straight games to power-conference opponents Arkansas, Virginia Tech and now Maryland. The team floundered after Harmeyer exited the game and was struggling even before that. The Terps limited her to three shots in 13 minutes.
Maryland: The Terrapins also had a strong rebounding effort, posting a 49-28 advantage.
Belmont plays at Toledo on Tuesday.
Maryland plays at North Carolina State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Thursday.