LINCOLN, Neb. — As Valentine Days go, this one couldn’t have been much sweeter for Brenda Frese and the ninth-ranked Maryland Terrapins.
Despite a number of obstacles, the high-powered Terrapins rolled to a 95-73 win over Nebraska on Sunday, giving Frese her record 500th win with the program.
Frese, 500-130 in her 19th season at Maryland, passed Hall of Fame coach Chris Weller, who won 499 games from 1975-2002.
“I spoke to her this past week, and I already have a message from her,” Frese said after the game. “I can’t say enough about her grace and dignity. She was so proud I was going to pass her.
“We both know records are made to broken.”
Ashley Owusu scored 25 points, Diamond Miller added 24 and the Terrapins (14-2, 10-1 Big Ten Conference) made it look easy. A 12-0 run early in the first period put the Terrapins up 14-4 and by halftime it was 51-33 as Chloe Bibby scored all 16 of her points.
That is even more impressive considering Maryland hadn’t played in 10 days – their last game postponed because of their opponent’s COVID-19 protocols – and they arrived in Nebraska the morning of the game because of weather conditions.
“I just marvel at this team, they didn’t even flinch,” Frese said. “After two travel delays, no playing in 10 days and having that start . . . you were able to see there wasn’t any rust.”
Mimi Collins added 19 points for the Terrapins, who shot 56% (39 of 70) to set a record for most points by an opposing team in Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Ruby Porter scored a career-high 19 points for the Cornhuskers (9-10, 7-8), who have lost four straight and are 0-13 against the Terrapins. Kate Cain and Isabelle Bourne adding 17 points with Bourne grabbing 10 rebounds.
Nebraska had a 10-0 run and near the midway point of the third period cut the deficit to 56-46 but Owusu fueled a 15-0 run and scored 12 in the period, which ended with the Terrapins on top 77-50.
Frese was head coach at Ball State for two seasons and Minnesota for one and is 556-160 in 22 seasons. Ironically she picked up her 500th career win at Nebraska two years ago.
“It’s something I’m I’m extremely proud of,” she said. “Sometimes we make it look really easy but it’s really difficult. . . . You hope as you do things the right way those things take care of themselves.
“There’s no other group I’d rather be with . . . going through this season, all the things that we’ve had to experience, is really something I’m going to remember for a lifetime.”
Maryland is home against Illinois on Wednesday. Nebraska goes to No. 21 Northwestern on Thursday.